Taxpayers Sunk By A$3.5bn Collins-Class Submarine Refit (excerpt)
(Source: The Australian; published June 15, 2020)
By Ben Packham
Australia’s rapidly ageing Collins-class submarines will be given a refit that will cost taxpayers at least A$3.5 billion to keep them operational until their much-delayed successors are delivered. (RAN photo)
Australia’s Collins-class sub­marines will need a multibillion-­dollar refit to keep them active for another decade due to the delayed rollout of the next-generation French submarines, which won’t be ready for operational service until the mid-2030s.

The refits, worth “greater than $3.5bn” — at least $583m per ­submarine — will replace the boats’ motors and diesel generators, and upgrade key systems.

The works will keep the six Collins-class submarines in the water for an additional 10 years beyond their scheduled retirement, guarding against a capability gap as French company Naval Group builds a $90bn fleet of new Attack-class submarines.

The life of the first of the 1980s-designed Collins subs will be extended until 2038, while the last of the refurbished boats will now retire as late as 2048.

The first of the nation’s 12 next-generation submarines — acquired under the deal with the French company — won’t be ready for operational service until at least 2034.

Defence revealed to a parliamentary committee that the minimum cost of the Collins-class “life-of-type extension” program was $3.5bn, but wouldn’t provide the exact budget for the program. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on The Australian website.


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