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Collins Class submarines set for upgrades

Contract signed for submarine upgrades"

The Royal Australian Navy's Collins Class submarines are in line for upgrades, with a new deal being signed between the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) and ASC Pty Ltd.

Defence minister David Johnston said the multi-million dollar contract would result in the vessels' control management and monitoring system being updated.

The highly computerised system enables a submarine's crew to control, oversee and control the large number of diverse and complex technologies on-board, said Mr Johnston.

"The current Ship Control Management and Monitoring System has performed effectively and reliably since the Collins class entered service in the 1990s," he explained.

"However, it is essential to upgrade the current system to ensure the system can be maintained for the remaining service life of the Collins Class fleet."

Under the $57 million contract, ASC Pty Ltd will work on updating the system's electronic components, while porting the software over to operate on a new platform.

Named as the Collins Class submarine platform system integrator for the project, ASC will partner with South Australian (SA) firm Saab Systems to complete the job.

Mr Johnston confirmed that a large portion of the work will be completed in Outer Harbour and Mawson Lakes in SA.

In May, the minister criticised the Collins Class, claiming it had been a "very expensive disaster".

"It was sold to us below manning, below sustainment, and high operational tempo," he said at the time.

However, chief of the Navy Vice Admiral Ray Griggs emphasised the importance of the Collins Class submarines earlier this year, telling ABC they are operated by a team of dedicated and well-trained individuals.

He said they are one of the most capable submarines in the world and their availability has been much improved over the last 15 months, resulting in them operating as far afield as Japan and Hawaii.

Interconnect Systems has been operating in the military engineering industry for more than 20 years and has developed several products and solutions that will benefit various military projects.

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