Commissioned in on 31 January 1998, HMAS Farncomb is the second of the six Collins Class submarines to enter service in the Royal Australian Navy. Based at Fleet Base West in Western Australia, they are a formidable element in Australia's defence capability.

Since commissioning, HMAS Farncomb has successfully conducted a range of activities throughout the region in support of Australian Defence Force exercises, operations and the government's strategic directives.

Collins Class submarines are tailored specifically for their defence and two-ocean surveillance role in the Royal Australian Navy. The submarines, designed and built by the Swedish Navy, are as quiet as advanced technology can achieve.

One of the first submarines fully designed by computers, these vessels boast a vast range of features. They include a high performance hull form, highly automated controls, low indiscretion rates, high shock resistance and an efficient weapons handling and discharge system.

The submarine moves silently on electric power supplied by banks of new-technology batteries charged by three on-board diesel generator sets.

The sophisticated combat system is an advance on any system currently available. It gathers intelligence from sensors, computes the input, and launches and directs weapons.

Specifications

Class Collins class
Type Guided missile submarine, diesel-electric (SSG)
Pennant S74
International callsign VMLF
Motto With Skill and Resolve
Home port Fleet Base West
Builder Australian Submarine Corp, Adelaide
Laid down 1 March 1991
Launched 15 December 1995
Launched by Mrs Jean Farncomb (widow of Rear Admiral Harold Farncomb)
Commissioned 31 January 1998
Displacement
  • surfaced: 3,100 tonnes
  • dived: 3,407 tonnes
Length 77.8 metres
Beam 7.8 metres
Draught 7 metres
Speed
  • top speed: 20 knots
  • dived: 20 knots
  • surfaced: 10 knots
  • snorting: 10 knots
Range
  • surfaced: 11,500 nautical miles
  • dived: 400 nautical miles
  • snorting: 9,000 nautical miles
Crew 48 plus trainees
Machinery
  • 3 Hedemora/Garden Island Type V18B/14 diesels
  • 3 Jeumont Schneider generators
  • 1 MacTaggart Scott DM 43006 hydraulic motor for emergency propulsion.
Missiles McDonnell Douglas Sub Harpoon Block 1B (UGM 84C)
Torpedoes

6-21 in (533 mm) fwd tubes

Mines 44 in lieu of torpedoes
Physical countermeasures Decoys: 2 SSE.
Electronic countermeasures Condor CS-5600; intercept and warning.
Radars Kelvin Hughes Type 1007; I-band.
Sonars
  • Thomson Sintra Scylla active/passive bow array and passive flank, intercept and ranging arrays.
  • Thales SHORTAS retractable, passive.
Weapon control systems AN-BYG 1. Link 11.
HMAS Farncomb badge

Function

Guided missile submarine