ASC Pty Ltd, formerly the Australian Submarine Corporation, is an Australian government business enterprise involved with Australian naval shipbuilding, headquartered in Osborne, South Australia. It is notable for the construction and maintenance of the Collins-class submarine fleet operated by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and the construction of three Hobart-class destroyers for the RAN with the first delivered in mid-2017.


The ASC construction facility on the Port River
HMAS Hobart under construction by ASC at Osborne

The Australian Submarine Corporation was formed when Kockums (designer of the Collins-class submarine) became part of a joint venture with the Australian branch of Chicago Bridge & Iron, Wormald International, and the Australian Industry Development Corporation to construct the six vessels.[8]

The ASC construction facility was established on previously undeveloped land on the bank of the Port River, at Osborne, South Australia.[9] Work on the site began on 29 June 1987, and it was opened in November 1989.[9][10] South Australia had been selected as the site of the construction facility based on the proposed location of the facility and promises by the State Government to help minimise any problems caused by workers unions.[11]

By the end of 1990, Chicago Bridge & Iron and Wormald International had both sold their shares in ASC.[12] The shares were bought up by Kockums and the Australian Industry Development Corporation, with some of Kockums' shares then sold to James Hardie Industries to maintain an Australian majority ownership of the company.[12] On 5 April 2000, the shares in ASC held by Kockums were bought out and the company was nationalised, despite a trend by the Howard Government towards privatisation of government-owned companies.[13] In 1991 the company had brought the insolvent Carrington Slipways in New South Wales to expand operations. [14]

The company’s name was changed from the Australian Submarine Corporation Pty Ltd to ASC Pty Ltd on 1 October 2004 in order to position it as a supplier of naval combat vessels in addition to being a specialist submarine supplier and maintainer.[15] The name ASC was specifically selected to recognise the company’s “heritage and achievements.”[16]

In October 2016, the Federal Government confirmed that ASC would be dissolved into three companies focused on different elements of current ASC works. One would be dedicated to the Air Warfare Destroyers, one to continued submarine sustainment and development and one to infrastructure development. Dissolution is expected to be complete by 2017.[17][18]

In December 2018, ASC Shipbuilding was structurally separated from ASC Pty Ltd, and transferred to BAE Systems Australia for the duration of the contract to build Hunter class frigates.[19]


ASC rose to prominence in 1987 when it was contracted by the Australian Government to design and manufacture a fleet of six Collins-class submarines for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN)[20] in what was the largest defence contract ever signed in Australia. Although the submarine project was marred with difficulties throughout the 1990s, upon completion the Collins class were hailed as the most advanced diesel-electric submarines in the world. The difficulties continued, however, and the very expensive Collins class submarines have been plagued with troubles and controversy ever since.[21][22][23] ASC maintains the six Collins class submarines for their operational lifespans under a A$3.5 billion contract with RAN.[24] To date, no other navy has expressed interest in buying a Collins class submarine.

In 2005, the company was selected by the Australian Government, ahead of two other bidders, as the preferred shipbuilder for three new AEGIS-based Australian air warfare destroyers (AWD) under the Sea 4000 Project. The AWDs are scheduled to begin service in 2013.[25]

ASC also has contracts for production of Keka-class coastal patrol boats, produced in Hong Kong for use of Hong Kong maritime police, and the Series T.81 produced in Thailand for the use of the Royal Thai Navy.[26]

Possible privatisation

In February 2014, the National Commission of Audit recommended in its Phase One Report that the Commonwealth sell its interest in ASC.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Market based solutions". Australian government, The National Commission of Audit. Archived from the original on 13 April 2015. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b "ASC – About Us". Archived from the original on 23 April 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  3. ^ "Board - About Us - ASC". ASC.
  4. ^ "Executive - About Us - ASC". ASC.
  5. ^ Donnellan, Angelique. "Adelaide shipbuilder ASC records $22m profit, bouncing back from 2014 loss". ABC News (Australia). Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  6. ^ Pisani, Ashleigh (1 November 2017). "Hoping to profit from top results". Westside Weekly (Newspaper.). Messenger. p. 11.
  7. ^ "ASC – Board". Archived from the original on 23 April 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  8. ^ Yule & Woolner, The Collins Class Submarine Story, pp. 76–80
  9. ^ a b Jones, in The Royal Australian Navy, p. 244
  10. ^ Yule & Woolner, The Collins Class Submarine Story, p. 127
  11. ^ Yule & Woolner, The Collins Class Submarine Story, pgs 87-8, 128
  12. ^ a b Yule & Woolner, The Collins Class Submarine Story, pp. 181–4
  13. ^ Yule & Woolner, The Collins Class Submarine Story, p. 312
  14. ^ "ASC buys Carrington Slipways". The Canberra Times. 65, (20, 549). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 17 July 1991. p. 17. Retrieved 24 July 2020 – via National Library of Australia.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  15. ^ Historical details for ABN 64 008 605 034 Australian Business Register
  16. ^ "Chairman's Report" (PDF). ASC Pty Ltd Annual Report 2004. p. 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 March 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
  17. ^ "NUSHIP Hobart (III)". Royal Australian Navy. Archived from the original on 6 October 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  18. ^ Federal government announces Adelaide based shipbuilder ASC to be split into three companies ABC News 11 October 2016
  19. ^ "Next generation frigates contract awarded to ASC Shipbuilding under BAE Systems Australia". BAE Systems. 14 December 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  20. ^ "ASC". Department of Trade and Economic Development. August 2007. Archived from the original on 23 July 2008. Retrieved 3 August 2008.
  21. ^ "AM – UK expert to head submarine review 20/07/2011". 20 July 2011. Retrieved 27 December 2011.
  22. ^ "Ares Homepage". Retrieved 27 December 2011.
  23. ^ "Engine problems cripple Collins-class submarines". The Australian. 21 October 2009.
  24. ^ Yule & Woolner, The Collins Class Submarine Story, p. 315
  25. ^ "Australian Submarine Corporation wins navy ship tender". The Advertiser. News Corporation. 30 May 2005. Retrieved 3 August 2008.[dead link]
  26. ^ "Australian ship builder to build landing craft for Royal Thai Navy". Pattaya Mail. Retrieved 2 April 2011.


  • Jones, Peter (2001). "A Period of Change and Uncertainty". In Stevens, David (ed.). The Royal Australian Navy. The Australian Centenary History of Defence. III. South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-555542-2. OCLC 50418095.
  • Yule, Peter; Woolner, Derek (2008). The Collins Class Submarine Story: Steel, Spies and Spin (Google Books). Port Melbourne, VIC: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-86894-5. OCLC 213111359. Retrieved 1 May 2009.