In November, Engineers Australia’s CEO - Romilly Madew along with SA/NT General Manager - Jan Irvine, Chief Digital and Technology Officer - Claire Foo, and Technology Strategy Manager - Lilian Elkess had the opportunity to visit ASC Pty Ltd at Osborne in South Australia.
ASC built Australia’s Collins Class submarines (CCSMs) and now sustains them, while providing in-operation service and support to deliver world-class availability to the Royal Australian Navy. ASC performs major maintenance activities on the CCSM at its Osborne facility and minor maintenance activities at its Henderson facility in Western Australia.
Alex Walsh, Executive Manager, Engineering hosted the visit, which was coordinated by Michael Stacey, Principal Mechanical Engineer. Following a presentation, Dan Miller, Chief Engineer – Maintenance and Michael Stacey took Engineers Australia on a tour of a dry-docked CCSM and the surrounding maintenance areas. This was an amazing opportunity to get inside a sub, to understand its size, complexity and maintenance requirements. The efficiency of submarines is extraordinary, highlighting the need for specialised engineering skills.
Some key facts from our visit:
- ASC employs over 400 specialist engineers and technical staff.
- There are more than three million parts on a CCSM.
- Submarines receive a full cycle docking every ten years of their service life which takes two years to complete.
- When CCSMs were designed in the 1980’s digital was analogue.
- The CSSMs run on diesel and create their own compressed air and water.
- The CSSMs will receive a Life of Type Extension (LOTE) commencing in 2026, which will provide the nation with world-class submarine capability into the 2040s and beyond.
- ASC actively supports STEM education to meet the shipbuilding workforce needs of the future - as well as the REA SUBS in Schools Technology Challenge™ which is the result of collaboration between REA, the Department of Defence ASC and Saab Australia.
- ASC has undergraduate, graduate and apprenticeship programs to ensure a growing talent pool.