View Full Version : Engine problems cripple Collins-class submarines

10-20-2009, 03:12 PM
THE navy's $6 billion Collins-class submarines face serious operational restrictions after being hit by a run of crippling mechanical problems and troubling maintenance issues.

Some senior engineering experts now contend that the Swedish-supplied Hedemora diesel engines may have to be replaced - a major design and engineering job that could cost hundreds of millions of dollars and take years to complete.

So serious are the problems that the Defence Materiel Organisation has put the Collins boats at the top of its list of "projects of concern" - the key equipment issues troubling Australia's Defence leaders.

The Australian understands that in recent times only a single Collins-class boat has been available for operational duties but it is unclear whether this involves more than extended training missions.

Senior Defence leaders are also vitally concerned about the productivity and efficiency of ASC, the Adelaide-based wholly government-owned builder and maintainer of the Collins class.

One senior Defence source characterises the level of concern in senior government ranks about the availability of the Collins submarines as "extreme".

In the recent defence white paper, Kevin Rudd announced that the government would double the size of the RAN's submarine fleet from six to 12 when it came to replacing the Collins-class boats from 2025.

"If you can't do this right, how do you do the next one," observed one senior Defence source last night.

"We spend a lot of money on this core defence capability and they aren't working properly." .


10-20-2009, 04:49 PM
Wow. Bummer for the Aussies. As good allies I want them to be well equipped. Certainly hope they sort this out.

10-20-2009, 08:16 PM
It's another one of those; Have I got a deal for you... Sham Wow willl do it for you!!

10-21-2009, 12:13 AM
I'm not worried. I bought the extended warranty!