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The Collins Class Submarine Story

A unique and outstanding military and industrial achievement, the Collins class submarine project was also plagued with difficulties and mired in politics. Its story is one of heroes and villains, grand passions, intrigue, lies, spies and backstabbing. It is as well a story of enormous commitment and resolve to achieve what many thought impossible. The building of these submarines was Australia's largest, most expensive and most controversial military project. From initiation in the 1981-2 budget to the delivery of the last submarine in 2003, the total cost was in excess of six billion dollars. Over 130 key players were interviewed for this book, and the Australian Defence Department allowed access to its classified archives and the Australian Navy archives. Vividly illustrated with photographs from the collections of the Royal Australian Navy and ASC Pty Ltd, The Collins Class Submarine Story: Steel, Spies and Spin, first published in 2008, is a riveting and accessibly written chronicle of a grand-scale quest for excellence.
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Table of Contents

List of key people; List of acronyms; Introduction; Part I. You Can't Build Submarines in Australia: 1. 'The one class of vessel that it is impossible to build in Australia': Australia's early submarines; 2. Australia's Oberon class submarines; 3. The submarine weapons update program and the origins of the new submarine project; 4. The new submarine project; 5. 'We can't build submarines, go away' - Eglo Engineering and the submarine project; 6. The acts of the apostles; 7. 'But how will you judge them?' The tender evaluation process 1984-5; 8. Spies, leaks and sackings: from tender evaluation to project definition study; 9. The project definition studies, 1985-6; 10. Debating the laws of physics: picking winners 1987; Part II. The Honeymoon Years 1987-92: 11. 'Keen as mustard to do a good job': setting to work 1987-9; 12. Designing the Collins class; 13. Building the Collins class; 14. The automated integrated vision; 15. Steel, sonars and tiles: early technological support for the submarines; 16. 'On time and on budget'; Part III. 'A Strange Sense of Unease', 1993-8: 17. End of the honeymoon; 18. The trials of Collins; 19. 'They were problems we didn't expect'; 20. The role of Defence Science: noise and diesels; 21. 'A patch on this and chewing gum on that': the combat system 1993-7; Part IV. Resolution: 22. 'Hardly a day went by without the project getting a hammering in the press'; 23. 'Bayoneting the wounded': the Mcintosh-Prescott report; 24. 'That villain Briggs' and the submarine 'get-well' program; 25. Inside the American tent: the saga of the replacement combat system; 26. 'We'll do it and get rid of the buggers': Kockums, ASC and Electric Boat; 27. 'We would find that challenging': comparisons and retrospect; Index.


About the Author

Peter Yule is Research Fellow of the History Department of the University of Melbourne. Derek Woolner is Visiting Fellow of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University.


"...highly recommended, both as eminently readable naval history and as a fine treatise on project managment." -Commander Michael Craven, Canadian Naval Review

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