Collins Class Submarines

The Collins Class project was established in 1982 to provide six new Australian built submarines for the Royal Australian Navy. The Collins Class submarines are the second largest non-nuclear powered submarines in the world.

Replacing the RAN's Oberon Class submarines, the Collins Class design was required to meet the unique needs of the Navy.

The Collins Class submarines would be required to travel great distances, operate in varying environments from cool southern oceans to warm, shallow tropical waters, deploy state-of-the-art weapons and be ready to perform anti-submarine, anti-shipping and intelligence gathering missions, among others.

The submarines would also be required to protect Australia through their very existence, acting as a strategic deterrent to any enemy forces.

In 1987, the newly formed Australian Submarine Corporation (now ASC Pty Ltd), began the task of designing and building what was then the most sophisticated conventional submarine in the world. The submarines' design was based on the Type 471 design from Swedish shipbuilder Kockums.

Construction of the first Collins Class submarine, HMAS Collins, commenced in 1990 and was delivered to the RAN in 1996. The sixth and final boat, HMAS Rankin, was delivered to the RAN in 2003.

The Collins Class submarines are a key element of the Australian Defence Force, as an intelligence-gathering platform during peace time and as a forceful opponent during times of war.

The six submarine class of HMAS Collins, HMAS Farncomb, HMAS Waller, HMAS Dechaineux, HMAS Sheean and HMAS Rankin achieves a balance between innovation and proven technical superiority. They are designed to be as near to noiseless as advanced technology can achieve.

Regarded as the best large conventional diesel-powered submarine in the world, the Collins Class are packed with high level technological and performance capability.

The control and monitoring of shipboard functions are handled by the ship-wide integrated ship control, management and monitoring system. The system uses special and general purpose processors linked by two sets of redundant serial data buses. In addition, the system provides a high level of automation, allowing the crew size to be significantly smaller than that of other conventional submarines.

The Collins Class' manoeuvrability functions include four aft control surfaces individually actuated to provide superior manoeuvrability and inherent redundancy.  The submarines are deep-diving and can travel at speeds greater than 20 knots (submerged) and 10 knots (surfaced).

The submarines have six forward torpedo tubes and are able to carry up to 22 torpedoes or anti-ship missiles, or up to 44 mines in place of torpedoes.

They are also able to employ sophisticated countermeasures which provide automatic detection, direction finding and identification of radar signals.

The Collins Class has technologically advanced sonar systems, decoy methods and radars and its systems are regularly upgraded.

Diesel-electric propulsion
High capability battery, long range and high endurance
High performance hull form, automated controls and exceptional manoeuvrability
High shock resistance, optimal noise suppression and low magnetic signature
State-of-the-art combat system
Efficient weapons handling and discharge systems
Length78 metres
Diameter8 metres
Displacement3,000 tonnes
Crew42, including 6 officers and 36 submariners
WeaponsMk48 Heavyweight torpedoes and sub-harpoon missiles
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