ASC has proudly served as Australia’s sovereign submarine builder and sustainer for more than 35 years.
ASC built Australia’s Collins Class submarines and now maintains and upgrades them, while providing in-operation service and support, to ensure the fleet’s ongoing availability and capability for the Royal Australian Navy. The submarines are upgraded with the latest in advanced sonar systems, decoy methods and radars at specialised facilities in South Australia and Western Australia. No other organisation in the nation provides this level of submarine sustainment expertise.
Following delivery of the Collins Class submarine fleet in 2003, ASC was awarded the role of managing the submarines’ through-life support, including sustainment, maintenance and upgrades.
ASC delivers submarine deep maintenance, known as Full-Cycle Dockings (FCDs), at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia. During an FCD, which takes two years to complete, the submarine is stripped, its hull cut open, and its enormous diesel engines and main motor removed.
ASC’s expert engineers, welders, pipe fitters, electricians and mechanics work seamlessly to overhaul or refit the submarines’ on-board systems. Significant upgrades occur during a Full-Cycle Docking, including combat system enhancements and modifications to enable the submarines to support Australian Army Special Forces operations.
Mid- and short-term maintenance work is delivered at ASC’s Henderson site, Western Australia, where upgrades are also undertaken.
ASC’s Henderson facility is located close to HMAS Stirling at Garden Island, the submarine fleet’s home base, so ASC can work closely with the Royal Australian Navy to provide timely operational support for the fleet when required.
Along with the Submarine Enterprise and many supply chain partners, ASC ensures the Collins Class submarine fleet meets the Navy’s stringent performance requirements, while optimising efficiencies to maximise customer value.
ASC’s priority of incorporating Australian content has seen it grow Australian Industry Content (AIC) from 70% during the Collins build, to as high as 95% in sustainment. A strong domestic contribution enhances the sovereign program’s resilience, maximises local jobs and skills development, and benefits the national economy.
In 2020, ASC signed a new, eight-year In-service Support Contract with the Australian Government to continue to sustain the Collins Class fleet. This represented the most significant submarine sustainment contract in Australia’s history, and was an outstanding endorsement of ASC’s highly skilled submarine workforce.
ASC delivered the Collins Class submarines to the Royal Australian Navy between 1996 and 2003. Constructed at Osborne in South Australia, they were the first submarines to be built in Australia. The boats were considered the most sophisticated conventional submarines in the world. The Collins continue to be internationally regarded among the best conventional diesel-powered submarines and are regularly upgraded with high-level technological and performance capabilities.