The Royal Australian Navy has today accepted ‘Operational Release’ of our six Collins class submarines, Defence Minister Robert Hill has announced.
This important milestone acknowledges the submarine’s ability to achieve defined operational outcomes laid down in the Defence Preparedness documentation.
While some aspects of the Class require future rectification or modification, the Operational Release rating recognizes that the submarines are now providing an important national defense capability.
Senator Hill said the Navy was now confident in the submarines’ ability to undertake operational employment pending completion of the current set of capability upgrades.
“The Collins class submarines are the most capable conventional submarines in the world, providing Navy with a long endurance, quiet, shock resistant and stealthy capability,” Senator Hill said.
“The Howard Government’s decisions to make interim modifications to the current combat systems, to upgrade the boats for better acoustic performance and reliability, to enter into a statement of cooperation with the United States Navy so that we can utilize its technology and expertise, to acquire a replacement combat system and a replacement anti-surface warfare and anti-submarine heavyweight torpedo is clearly paying dividends.
“Although there are still some issues to be resolved, the Chief of Navy has agreed to the Operational Release of the submarines following outstanding results in exercises and real world scenarios and intensive testing and evaluation of their capabilities.
“This is a significant milestone in the project and will provide the Navy with a world-class capability.”
The Operational Release rating does not release contractors from responsibilities to address aspects that require outstanding rectification or modification.
Collins Class Submarines Achieve ‘Operational Release’ Status