It’s been thirty years since Kockums, designer of the Collins class submarine, teamed up with Chicago Bridge & Iron, Wormald International and the Australian Industry Development Corporation to create ASC, Australia’s largest specialised defence shipbuilding organisation.
Commenting on the company’s 30-year anniversary milestone on 29 August 2015, ASC Interim CEO Stuart Whiley said the organisation has undergone multiple transformations and modernisation programs since its inception to cater to the needs of Australia’s Navy.
“The transformation at ASC over the last 30 years has been immense, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our Submarine Enterprise and AWD Alliance partners, our largely Australian-based supply chain and network of industry experts,” he said.
“What hasn’t changed over the last three decades is our commitment to supporting the nation’s most strategically important defence capabilities, and while we may have weathered our fair share of storms, this is a time to celebrate this important milestone, reflect on our many successes and embrace future opportunities.”
He said the company has completely transformed its submarine maintenance activities to ensure that the Navy has more submarines available more often.
“Following the Coles Review into submarine sustainment, ASC has implemented more than 30 infrastructure and improvement initiatives to bring the time it takes to complete a full cycle docking of a Collins Class submarine down from three years to just two,” Mr Whiley said.
In recent times, the company has adopted a series of changes to its operating practices in order to drive efficiency and performance gains.
“For the first time ever, ASC cut the hull of a submarine to remove the main motor and diesel generators. This allowed us to refurbish and test them outside the boat, leading to significant efficiency and schedule gains,” Mr Whiley said.
“We’ve then used our welding knowledge, gained during the Collins build program, to reweld the hull,” .
ASC employs more than 2,600 people at its three facilities in South Australia and Western Australia. Mr Whiley took the time to commend the efforts of everyone that has worked for the company in the last 30 years, saying their skills and determination had been invaluable in securing a bright future for the shipbuilder.
“I’m incredibly proud to be a part of such a highly-skilled and capable workforce that is supporting the Navy by building and maintaining key defence assets,” he said.