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ASC signs on with AMCouncil to further improve support of Collins sub fleet

collins class hmas sheean
Collins Class submarine HMAS Sheean. Image via Department of Defence

Government-owned submarine company ASC is to partner with the Australian  Asset Management Council (AMCouncil) to strengthen its life cycle management of the Collins Class submarine fleet.

Government-owned submarine company ASC is to partner with the Australian  Asset Management Council (AMCouncil) to strengthen its life cycle management of the Collins Class submarine fleet.

Under the new partnership with AMCouncil, ASC will drive continuous improvement in its sustainment of the Navy’s six Collin Class submarines.

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This follows ASC becoming the first Australian defence company recognised with international certification for asset management for defence assets, awarded by BSI International in April 2018.

ASC chief executive Stuart Whiley said ASC was currently Australia’s leading submarine builder and sustainer.

It will continue to be a critical partner with Defence, in delivering international benchmark availability for the Collins Class submarine fleet well into the 2040s, he said.

“This partnership with the AMCouncil will drive continuous improvement in ASC’s submarine sustainment, upgrade and life-of-type extension for the entire fleet, using the life cycle management principles,” Whiley said.

“Defence has endorsed asset management as best practice in maximising value from its critical assets.

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“With this partnership, ASC and the Asset Management Council are showing the way for others in Australian defence industry. We are excited at what the future brings both for this partnership and the improvements we can bring to bear for the Collins Class fleet in coming years.”

AMCouncil national chairman Dave Daines welcomed ASC to their community and said they looked forward to working closely with its key personnel.

“Close collaboration between the AMCouncil and ASC will contribute to the AMCouncil's body of knowledge as well as enable ASC to keep developing its excellence in the company’s continued asset management journey,” he said.

The partnership will initially see 40 specifically selected key ASC submarine platform experts undergo targeted training, seminars and joint events focused on asset management and life cycle management.

That will generate a broader and deeper understanding of asset management in general and will result in the adoption of asset management methodologies and alignment across the ASC submarine business.

“The objective is to maximise the value of the submarine to Australia’s submarine enterprise by optimising submarine capability, availability and affordability throughout its service life,” Whiley said.

ASC’s submarine business employs more than 1,100 personnel at its two facilities in South Australia and Western Australia.

ASC built the Collins submarines in SA between 1990 and 2003.

It’s now the design authority and the platform systems integrator (PSI) for sustainment and upgrades of the submarines as part of the submarine enterprise, along with the Royal Australian Navy and Defence Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group.

Sustainment of the Collins subs has improved dramatically from the dark period around 2009-10 when the Navy had nominally just two boats available for operations, but sometimes fewer.

The 2012 Coles review found sustainment performance well below international standards. Subsequent reviews noted very substantial improvements in availability and the government officially removed Collins sustainment from the projects of concern list in October last year.

ASC signs on with AMCouncil to further improve support of Collins sub fleet
Collins-Class-HMAS-Sheean.jpg
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