24 Agustus 2011

Release of ToR for Submarine Sustainment Review

24 Agustus 2011

Collins class submarien (photo : TheConversation)

The Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and the Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today released the terms of reference for the Review of the Sustainment of Australia’s Collins Class submarines.

This review will be led by Mr John Coles, an independent expert from BMT Defence Services in the UK.

Mr Smith and Mr Clare today met with Mr Coles yesterday to discuss the Review and its Terms of Reference.

Mr Coles has more than 30 years experience in the design, acquisition and sustainment of ships and submarines, principally in the United Kingdom. Between 1997 and 2005 he was the Chief Executive of the United Kingdom’s Warship Support Agency (previously the Ships Support Agency), which is responsible for the maintenance and repair of all Royal Navy submarines, ships, and auxiliaries. Between 2005 and 2007 Mr Coles was head of the British Future Aircraft Carrier Project.

The sustainment of the submarine fleet is vital to Australia’s national security. It is a complex task that has proven challenging for Defence and for ASC, the prime contractor, for a lengthy period of time. Sustainment of the Collins Class submarines is at the top of the Government’s Projects of Concern list.

Just as the Rizzo Report, released on July 18, provides a plan to improve the repair and management of the Navy’s amphibious fleet, Mr Coles will provide a plan to improve the repair and management of our submarine fleet.

This Review will involve a detailed examination of complex engineering issues associated with submarine sustainment and is likely to involve support from international experts and companies in this field.

Mr Coles’ terms of reference are to examine, report and provide recommendations on:

• The optimal commercial arrangements for conduct of submarine sustainment;

• Appropriate performance goals for sustainment activity, based on world’s best practice efficiency and effectiveness benchmarks;

• Options for demonstrating value for money in sustainment activity and the supply chain;

• Opportunities for improvements in management arrangements between ASC, DMO and the Navy to achieve efficiencies;

• Future infrastructure needs to support the submarine sustainment activity;

• Measures to be implemented by DMO and the Navy to ensure that ASC is able to operate under a performance-based contract; and

• The subsequent priorities for ASC and Defence reform to effect greatest improvement, given time, budget and system constraints.

An interim report will be provided to Government by December 2011 and a final report by April 2012.

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