Collins Class submarines

Capability Acquisition and Sustainment

Collins Class submarines

Conceived in the 1980’s, the Collins Class are Australia’s current submarines and are planned to remain in service as Australia’s potent and enduring submarine capability until the 2030’s. The Collins Class was evolved to meet Australian requirements from a base Swedish submarine design with headline characteristics including range, endurance, stealth, sensor performance and lethality. 
There are 6 submarines in the Collins Class, each named after former Royal Australian Navy personnel who served with distinction:

  • HMAS Collins
  • HMAS Farncomb
  • HMAS Waller
  • HMAS Dechaineux
  • HMAS Sheean
  • HMAS Rankin

Despite being an outstanding capability that has performed very creditably on operations, the Collins Class has historically suffered persistently poor availability. Informed by the Coles Report of November 2012 into the Business of Sustaining Australia’s Strategic Collins Class Submarine Capability, Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) (in close collaboration with Navy and industry) has transformed Collins sustainment since 2012 in order to attain benchmark levels of availability from mid-2016 and to manage the Collins Class efficiently and effectively through to withdrawal thereafter. Mr Coles returned to conduct a progress review in early 2014 from which he concluded that Collins availability had experienced “a remarkable turnaround”. Having achieved this turnaround, attainment of benchmark availability from mid-2016 and maintenance thereafter is expected to motivate consideration of removal of the Collins Class from the Government’s “projects of concern” list.

The transformation of Collins sustainment since 2012 is characterised by:

  • Clarified requirements.
  • Clarified accountabilities.
  • Improved planning and governance.
  • Improved information to to support decision making.
  • A performance-based ethos (across CASG, Navy and industry).

Key industry partners for the Collins Class include:

  • ASC
  • Raytheon Australia
  • Thales
  • BAE Systems
  • Pacific Marine Batteries
  • James Fisher Australia (escape and rescue).

Planned future upgrades, in particular to the combat, weapon, sonar and communications systems, will maintain Collins’ capability edge. Combat and weapon system spiral development occurs via an armament cooperative program that was initially established under Project SEA1439 Phase 4 (approved) and is now funded via Collins sustainment. Project SEA1439 Phases 5B1 (approved) and 5B2 will deliver communications upgrades while SEA1439 Phase 6 will deliver sonar upgrades. 

Read more about the submarines’ specifications and history

Current Division Projects