Life of Collins submarines to be extended


The federal government has moved to extend the life of the Collins class submarine fleet which will then remain in service until the arrival of the first nuclear submarines in a decade’s time.

The government said in a statement it was committed to a ‘potent, enduring and agile submarine capability’, and would establish an independent assurance activity ahead of the life-of-type extension of the Collins class submarine fleet.

“Australia’s transition to conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarines is underpinned by the ongoing availability of the Collins class submarine capability throughout this transition period.

“This will require the life of the Collins class submarines to be extended.”

Originally constructed in Adelaide, the extension is likely to take place at ASC at the recently expanded Osborne Naval Shipyard in the city.

A site north of the existing yard has been chosen to be further developed for later nuclear submarine construction.

The Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy said: “The Collins class submarines remain one of the most capable conventionally powered submarines in the world.

“The life-of-type extension of the Collins class is essential to the maintenance of Australia’s submarine capability as we transition from conventional to nuclear-powered submarines.

“This independent assurance activity seeks to ensure the life-of-type extension is delivered in the most effective and efficient manner, guaranteeing Australia retains an enduring, potent and agile submarine capability.”

The assurance activity will provide the government with advice on Defence and industry’s preparedness to deliver the Collins class submarine life-of-type extension.

The independent assurance activity is being led by Gloria Valdez, a member of the Naval Shipbuilding Expert Advisory Panel.

A classified report will be delivered to the government in the second quarter of 2024.

Picture: Royal Australian Navy

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