Minister for Defence and Minister for Finance - Joint Media Release - Final Coles Review into submarine sustainment

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Senator the Hon David Johnston

Minister for Defence

Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann

Minister for Finance

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18 April 2014

The fourth and final review into the Collins Class submarine sustainment program, released today by expert John Coles, confirms that submarine maintenance and availability has significantly improved.

The review findings have been welcomed by Minister for Defence David Johnston and Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann.

The report found that two and frequently three submarines are now available for deployment at any one time. In the recent past, we were often reliant on a single boat.

“The report notes remarkable progress in several areas,” Minister Johnston said.

“This includes greater availability of spares, less planned maintenance over-runs, fewer breakdowns and faster repairs to operational boats when problems occur.”

The final report also confirmed an increasingly collaborative effort by all partners involved—Navy, Defence Materiel Organisation and the submarine maintenance contractor, ASC.

“We are particularly pleased with the improvements in submarine productivity from ASC, which has meant better support of the Navy’s submarine capability,” added Minister Cormann.

“The signs are encouraging but there are still risks ahead with more work needing to be done,” Minister Johnston said.

“The Collins Class is a sophisticated platform which operates in a demanding environment and continued improvements in availability will lack resilience until the Coles recommendations are fully implemented.”

The Navy’s submarine fleet is one of Australia’s most strategically important capabilities. The Government remains committed to improving the reliability and the availability of this vital part of our Defence capability.

The report is available at:

Media contacts:
Mark Dodd (Minister Johnston’s Office) 0477 389 560
Karen Wu (Minister Cormann’s Office) 0428 350 139
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999

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