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Australia starts work on new submarine rescue facility

Illustration: Australian Collins-class submarines at HMAS Stirling

Civmec has started construction works on a new purpose built facility which will house the Royal Australian Navy’s submarine rescue system at Henderson in Western Australia.

The capability is a key part of the Australia’s new sovereign air transportable submarine rescue service, which will support the men and women serving in navy submarines.

The navy currently operates the LR5 system which is managed by James Fisher Defence, and will soon receive a new system delivered by Phoenix International under a contract from 2019.

Turning the first sod on the new site on June 4, Australian defense minister Linda Reynolds said the new system would deliver a rescue capability for Australia’s submarine fleet, but will also be capable of supporting other submarines operating in the region.

“In a time where our submarines are operating more than ever, we must continue to ensure our submarines are prepared for any mission, including rescue operations,” minister Reynolds said.

Civmec is building the new purpose built facility for A$12.5 million, which will include supporting infrastructure for storage, maintenance and training. The acquisition phase of the project is valued at A$279 million.

Construction is scheduled to be completed in February 2021.