The Australian Submarine Corporation has been awarded a contract worth up to $3.5 billion over 25 years to refit the Collins class submarines, the Minister for Defence, Robert Hill, and the Minister for Finance and Administration, Nick Minchin, announced today.
The refits of each submarine will be conducted on a 12-month cycle in Adelaide under a long-term maintenance agreement to be signed by the ASC and the Defence Material Organisation.
Senator Hill and Senator Minchin said the contract reaffirmed ASC’s reputation as Australia’s pre-eminent center for submarine construction, modification, repair and maintenance.
The skilled ASC workforce at Osborne is integral to our long-term submarine capability. This contract is a significant investment in Australian technology and intellectual capital to ensure the proper service and maintenance of our fleet, which are the most capable conventional submarines in the world.
The initial duration of the agreement is for 15 years, with the option to extend it for a further 10 years. Each refit of a submarine costs about $80 million. Our fleet of six Collins Class submarines will be refit every seven years over their 28-year lives. The 25-year contract could be worth up to $3.5 billion, the majority of which will be spent in Adelaide providing full cycle dockings – a huge boost to the South Australian economy. The remainder will be spent on other submarine maintenance activities, including mid cycle dockings and other contractor work to be carried out primarily in SA and Western Australia, where the submarines are homeported.
The agreement fulfils the Howard Government’s 2001 election commitment that all full cycle dockings would be undertaken by ASC.
It provides significant benefits to Defence, local industry and subcontractors by securing long-term, in-country support for a key strategic defense capability while providing commercial certainty to ASC.
ASC completed the submarine build contract earlier this year and has been involved in maintenance of the Collins class since 1996.
HMAS Waller will be the first submarine to be refitted under the new contract and is expected to commence in late 2004. HMAS Waller will benefit from the experience ASC has gained on the current refits of HMAS Collins and Farncomb.
Adelaide Wins Multi Billion Dollar Submarine Refit Contract