06 Agustus 2014
HMAS Farncomb arriving at ASC North to commence her Full Cycle Docking, or major maintenance work. (photo : ASC)
Contrary to a recent media report, Australian national submarine platform system integrator, ASC Pty Ltd, has been recontracted to provide maintenance on the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) fleet of six Collins Class submarines.
ASC’s Interim Chief Executive Officer, Mr Stuart Whiley, said that in fact ASC has just signed a contract extension with the Federal Government to continue to perform all maintenance work on the Collins Class submarines at its headquarters at Osborne in Adelaide, South Australia, and Henderson in Western Australia.
“This new contract recognises the significant improvement in performance and availability of the submarine fleet,” said Mr Whiley “and the significant skill set that has been developed in our workforces in both South Australia and Western Australia.”
“ASC already performs significant submarine maintenance work and inventory management at its facilities at Henderson in Western Australia, to complement its maintenance, engineering and logistics capabilities in South Australia.”
“ASC plans to build on its capability in Western Australia to perform all mid cycle and intermediate maintenance work, enabling the focus in South Australia to be on the new two-year Full Cycle Docking (FCD).”
Mr Whiley said the new phase of the In Service Support Contract (ISSC) is recognition of the significant work that ASC and its submarine enterprise partners - the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) and the RAN - have undertaken to improve the availability and reliability of the fleet.
“ASC has embarked on a transformation of the submarine maintenance program with our enterprise partners with a view to achieving global benchmarks,” said Mr Whiley.
“Central to this is the new two-year FCD, or major maintenance work, that has begun with HMAS Farncomb at ASC in South Australia this month.
“This will see the submarines move from a cycle of eight years in the water and three in maintenance, to 10 years in the water and two years in maintenance.
“The immediate benefit will be more sea days and less time spent in maintenance.
“The change and efficiency required to effectively reduce the length of the FCD by
a third has been substantial, and has touched every part of our maintenance operations.”
Key supporting initiatives have included the:
- Introduction of a circumferential hull cut to enable easier access to the submarine and more efficient removal of the diesel engines;
- Construction of a new Maintenance Support Tower at ASC’s South Australian facility to provide better access, and house key resources and facilities around the boat;
- Remediation of the supply chain and the establishment of a rotable pool of spare parts.
This follows the release of the Study into the Business of Sustaining Australia’s Strategic Collins Class Capability in late 2012 by international expert Mr John Coles. Following a recent progress review, he described the achievements to date as a ‘remarkable transformation’ and an ‘astonishing turnaround’.
ASC’s Stuart Whiley said ASC was firmly focussed on delivering on its commitments to its customer.
“This new contract period provides an opportunity to work even more closely with our customer to deliver a world class level of service,” said Mr Whiley.