Sunday, June 15, 2008
We have heard stories in the past where the Collins class has been successful in exercises against US aircraft carriers. Exercises often carry conditions that allow for successful maneuvers against US forces, but they also allow for realistic conditions to prove various elements of a ships technology. RIMPAC 2008 looks like it will be utilized to prove the combat systems of the Collins class submarine. From The Australian:
The navy is nervously awaiting the performance of HMAS Waller under fire, hoping the submarine's new combat system will hold up and end one of thedarkest chapters in Australian defence.Unlike other conventionally powered submarines, the Collins is a true fleet submarine. The class was designed for long deployments, and while the Collins class has been plagued by numerous problems, the combat system is the last piece to be corrected among the many issues the submarines have had.
HMAS Waller will participate in the world's largest maritime exercise, RIMPAC 08, as part of war games involving 10 nations over five weeks from June 27.
HMAS Waller is the first of the navy's six submarines to befitted with the so-called Replacement Combat System, ending a six-year, billion-dollar fiasco caused by the failure of theinitial submarine combat systems.
The flawed combat system was the most serious defect of the Collins-class submarine project and has prevented the fleet from achieving maximum performance during its first 15 years of operation.
The new combat system by Raytheon is modelled on that developed for US navy nuclear submarines with slight modifications for Australian conditions.
It aims to combine the submarine's various arrays of sonars, periscopes, radars and other sensors into a single plotting solution for the commander, making the submarine a far more deadly opponent.
If the combat system is successful, this should put the Collins class in the same category as the Oyashio class, which is considered by most experts to be the best conventionally powered submarine in the world.