South Australia provides the design enhancements, maintenance and through-life support of the Collins class submarines at Osborne Naval Shipyard, and from 2026 will also undertake life-of-type extension to the six-vessel fleet.
ASC was responsible for building Australia’s fleet of Collins class submarines in Adelaide in the 1990s. A workforce of about 1000 designers, engineers and tradespeople support the fleet in South Australia and Western Australia, and will continue until the end of its operational life. This support involves full-cycle dockings, as well as design enhancements to ensure the fleet remains at the cutting edge of submarine technology.
A full-cycle docking is an extensive maintenance and upgrade refit program, typically involving thousands of tasks over two years, in which each submarine rotates through after a decade of operational service.
South Australia’s Osborne Naval Shipyard is the confirmed location of life-of-type extension to the Collins class submarine fleet, which represents a $6.4 billion investment commitment and will support 1,300 local jobs. Life-of-type extension involves the rebuilding of each submarine and full replacement of key systems, which will extend the fleets’ service life to ensure capability is maintained until the new nuclear-powered submarines are complete.