Go to top of page

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer’s Report

Photo of Stuart Whiley
Stuart Whiley, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer

The ‘can do’ attitude of our workforce allowed ASC to continue to deliver our submarine and shipbuilding programs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

ASC achieved significant milestones during the 2019/20 financial year as the company continued its integral role in delivering Australia’s naval capabilityand our nation’s security.

This year, ASC continued to meet the RAN’s requirements for submarine availability and reliability, exceeding international benchmarks and delivering value for money and reduced cost of ownership to the Australian Government.

ASC commenced negotiations with the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) in early 2020, to continue CCSM maintenance for Performance Period Four (PP4), from 2020/24.

In February 2020, I attended the handover ceremony of HMAS Sydney, which marked ASC’s completion of the AWD Program through the AWD Alliance.

This incredible milestone in our history is as significant as the delivery of the sixth and final CCSM in 2003.

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we worked, to ensure the safety of our employees while maintaining our focus on project milestones and service delivery to our customer.

ASC stepped up to support our 1,800 Australian supply chain partners in uncertain economic times by reducing the duration of our payment cycles. It is pleasing to observe that our sovereign supply chain remains intact and our schedule uninterrupted, ensuring submarine availability to the RAN.

Collins Class Submarine Program

In 2019/20 ASC continued to deliver world’s-best submarine sustainment and capability support to the RAN, including a number of international deployments.

HMAS Waller’s Full Cycle Docking (FCD) was successfully completed on schedule at ASC’s deep maintenance facilities at Osborne in SA. HMAS Dechaineux commenced its FCD on 1 June 2020 and is due for completion in mid-2022.

During this period, HMAS Rankin underwent a 12 month Mid Cycle Docking (MCD) and HMAS Sheean a six month Intermediate Docking (ID) at ASC’s facilities in Henderson, WA.

ASC’s Submarine Training and Systems Centre exceeded all key performance indicators, providing over 200 training courses to new and existing submariners and CASG personnel.

Shipbuilding Programs

The AWD Alliance partners delivered the third and final AWD, HMAS Sydney, to the RAN in February 2020, following HMAS Brisbane (2018) and HMAS Hobart (2017). This marks the end of another successful Australian shipbuilding program.

ASC has been the lead platform shipbuilder in the program since its inception in 2005. More than 1,700 shipbuilding employees worked for ASC on the build, as well as hundreds of contractors.

ASC continues as the lead shipbuilder of the first two OPVs subcontracted to Luerssen Australia, the designer and prime contractor for the construction of 12 OPVs.

The first two vessels have met all major milestones to date, with the second vessel, Eyre, reaching its keel laying milestone in April 2020, following on from Arafura, in May 2019.

Two Arafura half-ship grand blocks were successfully moved onto the Common User Facility (CUF) in April 2020 using the Self-Propelled Modular Transporter, the largest transfer conducted at the Osborne Naval Shipyard to date.

Attract, retain and grow our people

ASC continues to provide unique and exciting opportunities for our people.

In late 2019, ASC conducted a remuneration review of our staff employed under common law contracts.

We have improved the links between performance and reward to retain high performers in our workforce. In addition, ASC introduced an updated parental leave program and this, along with our flexible working arrangements, has enhanced our ‘employer of choice’ status.

In early 2020 ASC welcomed 13 new apprentices to its workforce, bringing the total number to 54 across the nation. Our engineering graduate program continued to attract high calibre university graduates to participate in our well regarded two-year program.

With increasing workforce demand, ASC recognises its people are its most valuable asset, equipped with the unique skills and experience to support submarine sustainment opportunities into the 2030s and beyond.

Future Opportunities

The establishment of the Maritime Services Group (MSG) in 2018/19, positioned ASC to secure new sources of revenue by leveraging its 35 years of experience designing and sustaining Australia’s submarine fleet.

As a result, ASC is now the largest supplier of technical expertise to the FSTO. To harness future opportunities, ASC engages with domestic and international partners to maximise its involvement in future projects.

In 2019, ASC and Naval Group Australia, the designer-builder of the Attack Class submarine (ACSM), signed a training initiative under a framework agreement.

In the first placement of its kind, ASC integrated Naval Group Australia apprentices into its existing four-year, fabrication apprenticeship program.

ASC continues to work closely with the Department of Defence (DoD) to extend the operational life of the Collins Class fleet through the Life of Type Extension program (LOTE).

In support of the Australian Government’s future decision regarding CCSM FCD location, ASC continued to plan flexibly to accommodate undertaking this activity in Osborne or Henderson.


Like many Australian businesses, ASC will remember 2019/20 for the unforeseen impact of COVID-19. ASC was able to respond rapidly to the pandemic and avoid delays to the CCSM program.

I am extremely proud of our workforce, who adapted and changed the way they operated efficiently, with minimal disruption.

This ‘can do’ attitude allowed ASC to continue to deliver what remained a critical strategic requirement of Government – maintaining Australia’s submarine capability and continuing progress on our shipbuilding programs.

ASC has an exciting future and will continue to support the Australian Government’s ambition to build a strong, sustainable and innovative naval shipbuilding industry.

I thank ASC’s staff who have proven their absolute dedication and commitment to safety, innovation, performance and adaptability, making ASC a truly great Australian defence company.

Stuart Whiley signature

Stuart Whiley