The article in The Australian, 10 June 2011, by Cameron Stewart – “Not a single submarine seaworthy” – appears to misunderstand how Navy and Defence maintain and operate the submarine fleet to meet operational requirements.
As part of the regular ongoing management of the submarine fleet, all submarines are in various stages of their docking, maintenance and operational cycles.
Two submarines are currently in their operational cycle, and it is incorrect that there are no seaworthy submarines.
Navy is presently able to meet the Government’s standing requirement for submarine availability to respond to operational needs.
Maintaining the Collins Class is one of the most challenging tasks Defence has. It is one of the most complex and important capabilities operated by the Australian Defence Force.
Navy, the Defence Materiel Organization and industry continue to work closely on a program to improve reliability across the entire submarine fleet.
Navy remains committed to maintaining a submarine capability that is operated effectively and safely to protect Australia’s national interests.