Australian Secretary of Defense Peter Dutton has confirmed that all six of the Royal Australian Navy’s Collins-class submarines (RAN) will receive Extensive Life Extensions (LOTEs) to avoid a capability gap before the expected commissioning of the first 12 replacements the attack class in the mid-2030s.
In conversation with the national newspaper
On June 10, Dutton, who was appointed to the defense portfolio in March, said Australia had to be realistic about the threat in its own region.
« Submarine capacity is an integral part of how we mitigate this risk, and it is important that we get the program right, » he said.
« I have no doubt that we need to look for a life extension [for the Collins class], and we are working on this program now. All six would be on the schedule, ”added the minister.
Collins-class HMAS RAN submarines
in formation as it passes through Cockburn Sound, Western Australia in February 2019. All six of the RAN’s Collins-class boats will see significant service life extensions.
(Commonwealth of Australia)
Dutton’s remarks preceded a meeting scheduled in France between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and French President Emmanuel Macron on concerns about the progress of the attack class program worth A $ 90 billion ($ 69.8 billion) Billion USD) by the French shipbuilder Naval Group.
The program has been plagued by delays, cost issues and disputes over the scope of Australian industry content. The detailed construction of the first of the Attack class diesel-electric boats in Osborne near Adelaide is scheduled to begin in 2025/26 and is expected to enter service in 2035.
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