• The project has gone from 'concern' status to one of exemplar, according to Coles. Credit: ASC
    The project has gone from 'concern' status to one of exemplar, according to Coles. Credit: ASC

John Coles, who conducted the 2012 review into sustainment of the Collins Class Submarines has been impressed by the improvements made at ASC in a very short space of time.

The Beyond Benchmark review revisits the Collins submarine sustainment environment two years on from the March 2014 progress review.
and covered three areas: current Collins Class sustainment performance; sustaining performance during transition to the Future Submarine; and improving beyond the benchmark.

Coles noted a remarkable improvement in the capability to successfully manage the sustainment of the Collins submarines.
The report stated Enterprise sustainment performance had effectively supported the delivery of the Navy Requirement (CN10 Product Statement) to have:
“two deployable submarines consistently available, with four submarines available to the Fleet Commander and of these four, three submarines consistently available for tasking with one in shorter term maintenance and two submarines in long term maintenance and upgrade”.

Submarine availiability was "nearing the international benchmark" and there had been significant reductions in maintenance overruns, and in days lost to defects, both measures now performing better than the international benchmark.

With observed improvements to planning, productivity, inventory investment, and performance monitoring, the review team saw the Enterprise would be in a position to achieve benchmark performance by mid-2017.

In terms of sustaining performance during transition to the Future Submarine, the Review Team judged the Enterprise was conforming in all areas to the over-arching hypothesis which is: “The Enterprise has the established capability to deliver the materiel availability of the Collins Class Submarine beyond the international benchmark, whilst maintaining regional superiority and reducing sustainment costs”.
Coles stated the challenge however would be "to maintain this competence as there are a number of future milestones and decision points that will test the Enterprise’s capability to do so".

To prepare for the transition to future submarines the Enterprise would need to develop a clear strategy for sustaining the Collins until withdrawal from service.

"The recent decision to establish the Submarine Enterprise Board provides the perfect opportunity for this new entity to develop and drive this strategy and related plans," the report said.

"It also presents the opportunity to foster a collegiate environment of self-monitoring and continuous improvement to further strengthen the Enterprise’s ability to sustain performance as it transitions to the future submarines."

In order to improve beyond the benchmark, the Review Team made the following recommendations:

Maintain the 10+2 Usage and Upkeep Cycle (UUC)
Use maintenance overrun allowance intelligently
Focus on reliability
Focus on efficiency and cost reduction
Renegotiate the In-Service Support Contract (ISSC)

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