Ageing submarines won’t have Tomahawk strike missiles

Plans to fit Australia’s ageing Collins-class submarines with long-range Tomahawk strike missiles have been scrapped on advice the move wouldn’t provide value for money.

The Albanese government on Wednesday said it would extend the lives of the submarines, with HMAS Farncomb to be the first to undergo the works in 2026.

The decision follows advice from the US that adding the weapons to the boats was “not viable and does not represent value for money”.

“The life-of-type extension program is a sensible approach that underscores the Albanese government’s unwavering commitment to keeping Australians safe by ensuring the ADF has the capabilities it needs to deter potential adversaries,” Defence Industry Minister Pat Conroy said.

“The sustainment and upgrade work on the Collins class submarines give industry the certainty it needs and will provide a further boost for Australians who will benefit from the creation of highly skilled and well-paid jobs.”

The six Collins-class submarines were originally slated for retirement from 2026, but will be needed as Australia acquires nuclear-powered submarines under the AUKUS partnership in the early 2030s.

The Virginia-class nuclear-powered boats will be equipped with Tomahawk missiles.

Australia has ordered more than 200 of the potent strike weapons from the US, which have a range of 1500km, to arm the navy’s Hobart class destroyers.


Tess Ikonomou
(Australian Associated Press)


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