South Australia-based ASC and Schneider Electric have announced a partnership to support the Royal Australian Navy’s Collins Class submarine sustainment and plan for the Attack Class future submarine program.
Schneider Electric is an established supplier to ASC of major power switching and circuit breaker equipment for Australia’s fleet of six Collins Class submarines. The collaboration boosts Australian industry’s capability to deliver effective long-term support to the Collins Class as well as support for the Future Submarine Program, expected to deliver the first Attack Class submarine in the mid-2030s.
ASC chief executive Stuart Whiley said the collaboration would improve obsolescence management of key electrical equipment for the Collins Class, to remain in service into the 2030s, as well as explore opportunities for innovation and growth in support of future programs, saying, "Schneider Electric in Australia is a trusted and reliable partner for ASC and the Collins Class program.
"This collaboration will lead to a closer relationship and better understanding so that we can meet the expected obsolescence management demands of coming years on the Collins Class platform."
As part of the collaboration, graduate engineers from Schneider Electric and ASC will spend time working in each company’s submarine-related operations, to foster understanding in support of submarine work in Australia and to further drive collaboration between the two organisations.
"At Schneider Electric, we’re encouraged to learn every day, and put our customers at the centre of our world. This experience gives me the opportunity to do both at once,” said Nicole Tang, Schneider Electric graduate engineer, currently working within the ASC team at the Osborne Naval Shipyard precinct in Adelaide.
In the longer-term, both ASC and Schneider Electric see the exchange of graduates as a significant step to growing Australia’s submarine engineering capability through the development of professional networks and shared experience.
"It is through collaborations like this one, with Schneider Electric, that ASC will grow Australian industry’s capacity to meet our sovereign submarine requirements in coming decades, across both Collins Class and Future Submarines," explained Mr Whiley.
The companies said the collaboration was aimed at achieving a future strategic support agreement between the two companies, strengthening long-term planning and support of Collins Class sustainment and leveraging their expertise in support of allied segments, industries and future programs.
Schneider Electric has a global presence in over 100 countries and is a leader in power management – medium voltage, low voltage and secure power, and in automation systems.
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ASC Group is Australia’s largest locally owned defence prime contractor, employing more than 2,000 personnel engaged in Australian submarine maintenance, upgrade and sustainment and as shipbuilder for Australia’s Air Warfare Destroyer and Offshore Patrol Vessel programs.
The Collins Class fleet is Australia’s current submarine force, made up of large, long range, conventionally powered submarines to be operated by the Royal Australian Navy into the 2030s.