Minister of Defence Industry Christopher Pyne briefed the media on the progress of the ‘Collins’ class project
On Wednesday 4th October in the morning, Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne briefed members of the press on the ‘Collins’ class project: “We are pleased to inform that it has been removed from the projects of concerns list, which indicates that we have full confidence in the outcome of that project.” According to Mr. Pyne the ‘Collins’ class project has now become an exemplar one, and thanks to the separation of ASC Corporation from the project, the government regards the sustainment and maintenance of those submarines as one of Australia’s core sovereign capabilities.
When asked about how many ‘Collins’ class submarines’ would see their life extended to ensure Australia’s submarine capabilities while waiting for the new class of submarines to come, Mr. Pyne responded: “I have not received the numbers of submarines that will be extended, that will depend on the new submarine project remaining on schedule. The new submarines begin in 2022/2023 and there may well be a new Minister of Defence Industry and new government by then, therefore a different management of the programme, so I cannot tell you for sure, but I guess by the late 2010s we will have that information available.”
“We also announced today a $540 million contract for the enhancement of the ‘Collins’ class submarine. This will include enhancement to communication capabilities, ICT onboard the submarines and the capabilities of the ship,” he continued.
“Finally, a $148 million contract has been awarded to CEA for the phased array radar enhancements on the ‘ANZAC’ class frigates,” Mr. Pyne concluded. CEA CEAFAR radar will also be partnered with Saab to equip the future frigates, which are being fitted with the Aegis system, and Mr. Pyne indicated that contracts would start being signed now.