Submarine reporting in The Australian, 25 September 2013
25 September 2013
On 25 September 2013, The Australian newspaper published two articles related to the condition of the Royal Australian Navy’s Collins Class submarines. These articles were entitled “Secret Study Signals Sub Crisis” and “A Daunting Quest to save our Subs”.
The Collins Class submarine remains one of the most capable conventional submarines in the world. It is operated by a dedicated and well trained team of officers and sailors. The boats themselves are subject to a rigorous safety and certification system which all involved in the submarine enterprise take very seriously.
The commentary in both articles was drawn from selected areas within an internal report prepared by the Defence Materiel Organisation which examined the feasibility of extending the life of the Collins Class submarine. The purpose of the report was to identify potential issues and risks that would need to be addressed to extend the life of the class. This is a common and normal process to be followed if consideration is being given to the life-extension of any system.
It was always expected that the report would identify systems that would require attention should a life extension be required. Many of these were already known and are or have been addressed in planned upgrades or through continuous improvement programs. As with any risk analysis a risk must first be identified before it can be assessed and determined whether controls will need to be put in place to manage the risk.
There has been significant improvement in submarine availability over the last 15 months. Our submarines have been busy operating domestically and as far afield as conducting exercises in Japan and Hawaii. This is a testament to the hard work being conducted by all members of the submarine enterprise involved in the sustainment of the Collins Class submarine.