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Collins-class Hunter Killer Submarine

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The Collins-class Attack Submarine is a class of eight submarines in service in the Royal Australian Navy from 1996 onwards. The Collins-class takes its name from Australian Vice Admiral John Augustine Collins; all eight submarines are named after significant RAN personnel who distinguished themselves in action during World War II. The boats were the first submarines to be constructed in Australia, prompting widespread improvements in Australian industry.

Planning for a new class to replace the RAN's Oberon-class submarines began in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Proposals were received from seven companies; two were selected for a funded study to determine the winning design, which was announced in mid-1987. The submarines, an enlarged version of Swedish shipbuilder Kockums' Västergötland-class and originally referred to as the Type 471, were constructed between 1990 and 2003 in South Australia by the Australian Submarine Corporation (ASC).

The submarines have been the subject of incidents and technical problems since the design phase, including accusations of foul play and bias during the design selection, improper handling of design changes during construction, major capability deficiencies in the first submarines, and ongoing technical problems throughout the early life of the class. Working with several other countries (including America, Britain, Canada, and Japan) have helped in correcting most of the deficiencies in the Collins-class.

In 2003, the HMAS Waller attained the achievement of being the first diesel-electric submarine to sink a US nuclear submarine during a naval war games exercise.

In 2004, the Canadian government selected the Collins-class to be the base of their own indigenous diesel-electric submarine design (to be named the Victoria-class) on the conditions being that if Canada wanted to export them they needed Australian permission and had to pay a license fee, and any improvements the Canadians made could be adopted by Australia if they wished.


  • Type: AIP equipped diesel-electric fast attack submarine (Hull designation symbol SSG)
  • Service Perid: 1996-2033
  • Characteristics
    • Length: 254 feet (77.42 meters)
    • Beam: 26 feet (7.93 meters)
    • Draught: 23 feet (7.01 meters)
    • Displacement: 3,051 tonnes (3,003 long tons) (surfaced); 3,353 tonnes (3,300 long tons) (submerged)
  • Crew: 58
  • Endurance: 70 days
  • Power: 3 x Garden Island-Hedemora HV V18b/15Ub (VB210) 18-cylinder diesel motors, 3 x Jeumont-Schneider generators (1,400 kW, 440-volt DC)
  • Propulsion:
    • Main: 1 x Jeumont-Schneider DC motor (7,200 shp, 5.4 MW), driving 1 x seven-bladed, 4.22 m (13.8 ft) diameter skewback propeller
    • Emergency: 1 x MacTaggart Scott DM 43006 retractable hydraulic motor
  • Range: 9,000 nautical miles (16,668 kilometers)
  • Speed: Surfaced: 10.5 knots (19.47 km/hr); Submerged: 21 knots (38.9 km/hr)
  • Sensor Suite
    • Thales Scylla bow and distributed sonar arrays
    • Thales SHORT-TAS towed sonar array
    • Thales intercept array
    • GEC-Marconi Type 1007 surface search radar
    • Thales CK043 search periscope
    • Thales CH093 attack periscope
    • Modified Raytheon CCS Mk2 (AN/BYG-1)
  • Armament
    • 6 x 21" (533mm) bow torpedo tubes (22 torpedoes; mix of Mark 48 Mod 7 CBASS torpedoes, UGM-84C Sub-Harpoon anti-ship missiles) or 44 Stonefish Mark III mines

Unit Run[edit]

  • HMAS Collins (SSG-73)
  • HMAS Farncomb (SSG-74)
  • HMAS Waller (SSG-75)
  • HMAS Dechaineux (SSG-76)
  • HMAS Sheean (SSG-77)
  • HMAS Rankin (SSG-78)
  • HMAS Harrington (SSG-79)
  • HMAS Sinclair (SSG-80)
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