According to an article in yesterday’s The Australian, none of the navy’s 6 submarines are fit for duty. Defence (specifically the Navy) has issued a press release stating this is wrong, but considering that the article already addresses input by Defence, it is hard to take the mind-guards seriously.
The Collins class submarine has been beset by troubles since the start of the program. It has cost the taxpayer an estimated $10 billion dollars for this mess.
If there was a war today—funny how they seem to appear out of nowhere—Australia’s submarine fleet would have minimal impact in the defence of the region. Your $10 billion dollars have been for nothing.
The experiment known as the Defence Material Organisation (DMO) can be considered a failure. They in-fact own the responsibility for sustaining the Collins class sub program. In defence of the DMO, they couldn’t even sustain common ships, so how could they be realistically expected to manage something as complicated as submarines? This is more work for our very slow off the mark politicians to consider. Here is some help.
The Defence establishment wants you to hand over $36 billion (or more) on an empty promise to recapitalize the submarine fleet. Indonesia on the other hand has a plan to grow their submarine fleet to 10 over the coming years at a cost of about $800 million (off-the-shelf) per boat. They don't have the shipbuilding skills to do it at home and apparently, neither do we. Which is a more reasonable submarine acquisition plan?