Tag Archives: Collins Class submarine

Give up a fish, bunk a frogman

The Royal Australian Navy has been in the submarine business since 1914 when they took a pair of British E-class boats (HMAS AE-1 and AE-2) under local operation. Since then, they operated a dozen different J, K and O-class vessels in WWII, picked up six Oberon-class boats in the 1960s– which were used extensively over 30+ years– and finally, built their own subs, the Swedish Kockums’-designed Collins-class submarines built in the 1990s. One big facet of the RAN’s sub operations going back to the 1940s is the carry of commando units from M& Z Special Forces, Beach Commandos and today combat diver-trained members of 2 Cdo Regt and the SAS.

However, the Collins are tight boats, just 254-feet oal, with many of the 50~ man crew already forced to hot bunk.

Enter new collapsible Submarine Accommodation Capsules, which can be stored in the same way as torpedos. Of course, you give up steel fish to accommodate a few frogmen or other transients, but hey, it’s a small boat.

Of course, historically, anything is better than sleeping on an actual torpedo, which is a longstanding historical trend…

Slumber Deep by Thomas Hart Benton

USS Bullhead (SS-332 )crewman reading in his bunk, atop a torpedo loading rack in one of the submarine’s torpedo rooms. Taken during a Pacific war patrol, circa Spring 1945 80-G-49457

HMAS Farncomb celebrates successful sinking at RIMPAC

The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Collins Class submarine HMAS Farncomb has successfully sunk a target ship, the 12,106-tonne former USNS (United States Navy Ship) Kilauea in Hawaii.


Farncomb,
a Collins Class submarine, fired one Mark 48 Torpedo and achieved a hit just below the bridge of the ship as part of a sinking exercise, or “SINKEX,” at Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012.

The former USNS Kilauea broke into two parts and sank about 40 minutes later.

The submarine’s Commanding Officer, Commander Glen Miles, said the firing is a significant milestone for both himself and his 60-strong crew.

“This is the result of professionalism and teamwork,” Commander Miles said.

“Those of us who drive these boats know that the Collins’ weapons systems are among the most capable in the world.”

Australia is among 22 nations attending Exercise RIMPAC that includes six submarines and 40 surface ships participating in a realistic maritime warfare scenario.

Australian soldiers from 1 RAR are also participating in the amphibious aspect of the exercise, alongside US Marines. RAAF AP-3C Orions and a Wedgetail aircraft are also providing air support.

Australia’s contingent commander, Commodore Stuart Mayer, said RIMPAC provided the ADF with a realistic, high tech and challenging training opportunity.

“HMAS Farncomb’s success reminds us yet again of the invaluable role submarines play in modern warfare,” Commodore Mayer said.

“RIMPAC allows us to train with our allies for a worst case scenario in a real life environment.”

The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC, provides a unique training opportunity helping participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans.

RIMPAC 2012 will conclude on 3 August 2012.