The Royal Australian Navy is set to benefit from HMAS Waller being the first Collins-class submarine to be fitted with the new Replacement Combat System and Heavyweight Torpedo, the Minister for Defence, the Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP, said today.
The Replacement Combat System and Heavyweight Torpedo capabilities were provided under Projects SEA1439 Phase 4 and SEA1429, and with Initial Operational Release (IOR) now approved, HMAS Waller may commence a period of Naval Operational Test and Evaluation where those capabilities will be fully tested in an operational environment.
“These significant capability upgrades were recently approved for IOR by the Royal Australian Navy and assessed as safe and suitable for operational trials,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
HMAS Waller - Collins class submarine (photo : Naval)
The Minister recently visited HMAS Waller in Hawaii, where its Operational Test and Evaluation activities have included participation in the Rim of the Pacific 2008 (RIMPAC 08) exercise. This exercise is currently being conducted off Hawaii and includes the participation of the United States and eight other Pacific Rim forces.
HMAS Waller represents an important milestone in realising the full capability of the Collins Class submarine and reflects the significant efforts of the prime contractor ASC, the Defence Materiel Organisation, Capability Development Group, the Defence Science and Technology Organisation and the Navy including HMAS Waller’s crew.
“The outcome also represents successful engagement with the US Navy and Australian industry and establishes an ongoing framework for the continued development of these capabilities,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
“The two projects represent an investment by the Australian Government of approximately $890m and to have both of these complex projects progressing well is a noteworthy achievement,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
Installation of these capabilities in further submarines is ongoing and is linked to their docking availabilities.