Submarines: November 16, 2000


Australia plans to refit the submarines HMAS Farncomb and HMAS Rankin with the same engine, propeller, and hydraulic system upgrades now being installed on the HMAS Dechaineux and HMAS Sheean. This upgrade significantly reduces the noise signatures. The move is thought to be partially motivated by the desire to make the Australian Submarine Corporation more attractive to foreign bidders, as the company is up for sale. The other two submarines will be upgraded later, although plans for a seventh and eighth submarine will go nowhere due to budget limits. Some members of the Navy want to reduce the submarine fleet from six boats to four in order to spend more money on the surface fleet, but Vice Admiral Shackleton (Chief of the Navy) says he supports retaining all six subs and upgrading them to a uniform standard.--Stephen V Cole 




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