BAE Systems Australia has secured a $30 million sustainment contract extension to support the Royal Australian Navy’s Collins Class submarine fleet with a leading-edge periscope capability.
The original five-year contract began in 2015 and encompasses engineering, program management, supply support and highly specialised maintenance services. During this two-year extension period, BAE Systems will continue to maintain search and attack periscopes and undertake the necessary updates to the periscope systems.
BAE Systems has been maintaining and updating the Collins Class submarine periscopes for more than three decades, developing an important sovereign capability. The company began supporting the Collins Class submarines periscopes in 1988 at the start of the periscope build program.
BAE Systems Australia managing director defence delivery Andrew Gresham said, “Now, more than ever, Defence programs will have an important role in Australia’s post-COVID economic recovery.”
The company has continued to develop this sovereign capability through the provision of maintenance, repair and update services in two states. Periscope work is undertaken by 34 specialist employees working in purpose-built facilities at Mawson Lakes South Australia and at HMAS Stirling Naval Base, in Western Australia.
“We began supporting the Collins Class submarine periscope systems with an 11-year manufacturing and build program for attack and search periscope systems,” Gresham added.
“Some three decades later, we continue to build and grow our experience in maintaining and updating this critical piece of defence equipment. During this time we have also supported the development of new capabilities in our local supply chain.”
The Collins Class submarines have been tailored specifically for its defence and two-ocean surveillance role in the Royal Australian Navy. Designed to be as quiet as advanced technology can achieve, Collins Class submarines have been developed from five generations of submarines designed and built by the Swedish Navy.
One of the first submarines to be totally designed by computers, these submarines boast a vast range of features. They include a high-performance hull form, highly automated controls, low indiscretion rates, high shock resistance and an efficient weapons handling and discharge system.
The submarine will move silently on electric power supplied by banks of new-technology batteries. The batteries are charged by three onboard diesel generator sets. The sophisticated combat system, which gathers its intelligence from its sensors, computes the input and then launches and directs weapons, is an advance on any system currently available.
Each boat has been named after a distinguished former member of the RAN, some of whom have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Based at Fleet Base West in Western Australia, they are a formidable element in Australia's defence capability.