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The Collins Class Submarine Story
Steel, Spies and Spin

$69.95 (G)

  • Date Published: June 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521868945

$ 69.95 (G)

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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • The only comprehensive account of Australia's most controversial defence project, it covers all aspects of the project: commercial, legal, project strategy, operational and political
    • Spans the twenty-two years from its beginnings in 1981 to completion and delivery to the Navy in 2003
    • Vividly illustrated with photographs from the naval collection
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "...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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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2008
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521868945
    • length: 402 pages
    • dimensions: 236 x 165 x 33 mm
    • weight: 0.86kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of key people
    List of acronyms
    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

  • Authors

    Peter Yule, University of Melbourne
    Peter Yule is Research Fellow of the History Department of the University of Melbourne.

    Derek Woolner, Australian National University, Canberra
    Derek Woolner is Visiting Fellow of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University.

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