The fourth and final review into Australian Collins Class submarine sustainment program, released today by expert John Coles, confirms that submarine maintenance and availability has significantly improved.
The review findings have been welcomed by Australian Minister for Defence David Johnston and Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann.
The report found that two and frequently three submarines are now available for deployment at any time. In the recent past, the country was often reliant on a single boat.
“The report notes remarkable progress in several areas,” Minister Johnston said.
“This includes greater availability of spares, less planned maintenance over-runs, fewer breakdowns and faster repairs to operational boats when problems occur.”
The final report also confirmed an increasingly collaborative effort by all partners involved—Navy, Defence Materiel Organisation and the submarine maintenance contractor, ASC.
“We are particularly pleased with the improvements in submarine productivity from ASC, which has meant better support of the Navy’s submarine capability,” added Minister Cormann.
“The signs are encouraging but there are still risks ahead with more work needing to be done,” Minister Johnston said. “The Collins Class is a sophisticated platform which operates in a demanding environment and continued improvements in availability will lack resilience until the Coles recommendations are fully implemented.”
“The Navy’s submarine fleet is one of Australia’s most strategically important capabilities. The Government remains committed to improving the reliability and the availability of this vital part of our Defence capability,” Australian Government said in a release.
Press Release, April 8, 2014, Image: Australian Govt