Australia undertake life-of-type extension project for Collins-class submarines

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morison has approved a Life-of-Type Extension to the Collins class submarine fleet from 2026 in South Australia, and confirmed that the Full-Cycle Docking of the Collins class will continue to be conducted at Osborne.

The upgrade work (which could cost up to AUD $6.4 billion) will be much needed in order to avoid a capability gap for the Royal Australian Navy’ submarine fleet. The recently cancelled Attack-class program was set to see the first of twelve new submarines delivered in the mid-2030s. The new plan under the AUKUS initiative aims at starting to build the first of at least eight nuclear-powered submarine (SSN) from the 2030ies.

The Government will also invest up to $5.1 billion in upgrades to the Hobart Class destroyer combat management system upgrades at Osborne from 2024

Australia’s Minister for Defense Peter Dutton said the Government’s investments would ensure Australia maintained a strong and agile submarine capability for decades:

“The Collins class submarine to this day remains one of the most capable conventional submarines in the world. The planned Life-of-Type Extension, through the replacement of key systems, will help deliver Defense’s strategic objectives. The upgrade to the Aegis combat management system will ensure our fleet of Hobart class air warfare destroyers maintain their capability-edge into the future. Both of these projects announced today are vital for Defense’s ability to act with greater independence in an increasingly contested strategic environment.”

Collins class submarine HMAS Farncomb will be the first to undergo a Life-of-Type Extension when it enters its next Full-Cycle Docking in 2026.

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