Review: Improved maintenance makes Australian Collins-class submarines more effective

Improved strategies in the sustainment of Royal Australian Navy Collins-class submarines have allowed the Australian Navy to have two submarines available for operations 90% of the time, an independent review has shown.

The follow-up review on the progress made in addressing the findings of the original 2012 Coles Review identified an improvement to the availability and reliability of the submarines which means that they can spend more days at sea conducting exercises and operations.


Minister for Defence Senator the Hon Marise Payne said the follow-up review, Beyond Benchmark, completed by Mr John Coles found a remarkable improvement in the capability to successfully manage the sustainment of the Collins Class submarines.

“The review considered current Collins Class sustainment performance, plans for sustaining Collins performance during transition to the Future Submarine, and opportunities for improving Collins beyond international benchmarks,” Minister Payne said.

Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne said Beyond Benchmark also provides a number of observations and additional recommendations for sustaining and improving performance into the future.

“This report reiterates that we have the capability and skills to deliver large complex defence projects – a skills base that needs to be nurtured, expanded and then exported to the world.”

“Defence intends to adopt a tailored set of these observations and recommendations to assure the performance of the Collins Class submarine capability into the future,” he said.

“ASC’s turnaround in performance in relation to submarine sustainment demonstrates the significant progress this business has made in both experience and capability. The Government’s decision earlier this month to create a separate submarine sustainment business will ensure that these enhanced skills and expertise will continue to be deployed in the best possible way to support future submarine sustainment,” Minister for Finance, Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann said.