All six of Australia's Collins-class submarines to undergo life-of-type extensions

Isa Khan

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Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton has confirmed that all six of the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN's) Collins-class submarines will undergo major life-of-type extensions (LOTEs) to avoid a capability gap prior to the anticipated entry into service of the first of 12 Attack-class replacements in the mid-2030s.

Speaking to the national newspaper The Australian on 10 June, Dutton, who was appointed to the defence portfolio in March, said Australia had to be realistic about what lay ahead by way of threat in its own region.

“The submarine capacity is a significant part of how we mitigate that risk and it's important that we get the programme right,” he said.

“There is no doubt in my mind that we need to pursue a life-of-type extension [for the Collins-class] and we are working on that programme now. All six would be on the schedule,” added the minister.

Dutton's comments preceded a meeting set to be held in France between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and French President Emmanuel Macron in which concerns over progress on the AUD90 billion (USD69.8 billion) Attack-class programme by French shipbuilder Naval Group will be raised.

The programme has been beset by delays, cost issues, and disputes over the level of Australian industry content. Detailed construction of the first of the diesel-electric Attack-class boats at Osborne near Adelaide is scheduled to begin in 2025/26 with entry to service expected about 2035.

 

avonsabre

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W hen are the Collins class to start their updates? Do we know what new weapons are to be installed, such as Tomahawk and NSN missiles?
 

Old Codger

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Not sure what can fit in a Collins. Will a Tomahawk fit in a 21 inch tube?

But we have no choice, the Collins MUST be available for as long as we can keep them. Plus a couple of old Los Angeles are better than nothing, and a good trainer for when the Virginias? arrive,

The British 'Astute' production line is working on the last of the series, and my bet is they will be looking to grab the Australian contract. I believe they are nearly as good as the 'Virginia' and would be available much sooner. Cheaper perhaps?

Eight Astutes in 2030/35 would be far better than 12 Virginias in 2045. The USN needs will always outrank the RANs.

OC
 
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