ASC welcomes the Australian government’s commitment to extend the life of all six Collins class submarines and the decision to retain full cycle docking of the fleet at Osborne, South Australia. This commitment will ensure South Australia’s remains a powerhouse in naval shipbuilding, with ASC playing a pivotal role.
The government’s decision reinforces ASC’s role as Australia’s own sovereign submarine organisation and recognises the achievement of ASC’s 1,300-strong workforce. With so much shipbuilding activity happening right here in SA, there are endless opportunities to transition skilled shipbuilders into new roles within ASC or in the local industry.
ASC’s workforce remains critical in the availability of the Collins class submarine fleet, which has exceeded international benchmarks in recent years. The life-of-type extension program will update key equipment on the submarine, including the propulsion systems, diesel motors, generators, power conversion and distribution systems, along with a range of hull assessments and upgrades.
ASC’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Stuart Whiley, says ASC will continue to ensure the Navy is equipped with an agile and potent submarine capability as it perform the life-of-type extensions, starting with HMAS Farncomb in 2026. “Central to the success of the full-cycle docking and life-of-type extension program is the commitment of ASC’s workforce, which includes Australia’s leading submarine platform engineers, trades and professionals,” Whiley said. “Upgrading the Navy’s six Collins class submarines through the life-of-type extension program and provide Australia with a world class submarine capability into the 2030s and beyond. We are working closely with Defence as well as our supply chains and international partners to deliver on the Royal Australian Navy’s requirements for leading-edge capability.”
ASC said it also welcomed the government’s announcement to work with the United Kingdom and the United States over the next 18 months to identify the optimal pathway to deliver nuclear-powered submarines for Australia. “ASC will continue to be Australia’s source of sovereign submarine industrial expertise and will work with the Government to support train and grow the workforce needed to build Australia’s nuclear-powered submarines. We are committed to finding roles for skilled shipbuilding workers impacted by this announcement. ASC will develop a program to retain all of the skilled shipbuilding workers impacted by the discontinuation of the Attack Class Submarine Program. We will explore options to re-deploy the displaced workforce throughout South Australia’s current and planned shipbuilding programs, while building the skills that will be crucial for the success of the nuclear-powered submarine program,” the company said.
ASC Chairman Bruce Carter said “ASC is committed to finding roles for skilled shipbuilding workers impacted by this announcement. We have implemented a process which will provide all affected employees with the opportunity to transition into positions within ASC or the wider industry.”
A transition team has been set up to assist effected employees to move through the transition process with a dedicated talent pool already open on the company’s website. ASC’s transition support team will assist effected employees to process through a three stage process which will include:
- The initial engagement of staff via both our online ‘Talent Pool’ portal or through dedicated job fairs.
- The completion of a ‘Job Matching’ process which will assist us to match effected employees to our new opportunities.
- The completion of the on-boarding and commencement process.
The ASC transition team will also be responsible for facilitating support for new ASC employees.