Collins Class Submarine

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Collins Class Submarine

The Collins class is a class of six Australian-built diesel-electric submarines operated by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The Collins class takes its name from Australian Vice Admiral John Augustine Collins; all six submarines are named after significant RAN personnel who distinguished themselves in action during World War II. The boats were the first submarines to be constructed in Australia, prompting widespread improvements in Australian industry.

Planning for a new class to replace the RAN's Oberon-class submarines began in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Proposals were received from seven companies; two were selected for a funded study to determine the winning design, which was announced in mid-1987. The submarines, an enlarged version of Swedish shipbuilder Kockums' Västergötland class and originally referred to as the Type 471, were constructed between 1990 and 2003 in South Australia by the Australian Submarine Corporation (ASC).

The submarines have been the subject of incidents and technical problems since the design phase, including accusations of foul play and bias during the design selection, improper handling of design changes during construction, major capability deficiencies in the first submarines, and ongoing technical problems throughout the early life of the class. These problems have been compounded by the inability of the RAN to retain sufficient personnel to operate the submarines — by 2008, only three could be manned, and from 2009 onwards, on average two or fewer were fully operational. The resulting negative press has led to a poor public perception of the Collins class.

It is expected that the Collins class will remain in service until the 2020s. Planning for a replacement class of up to twelve vessels commenced in 2007. The new boats are predicted to enter service from 2025, and be active until the 2070s.

Read more about Collins Class Submarine:  Development and Design, Construction, Problems During Construction and Trials, Characteristics, Operations and Deployments, Replacement, Footnotes

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