Saturday, March 21, 2009
Collins Class Submarine Story
The Collins Class Submarine Story: Steel, Spies and Spin by Peter Yule and Derek Woolner ( Cambridge University Press, 2008) provided a detailed look at the development process for a complex defence system. The Australian Defence Force's new submarine project, the selection of the design, the politics of building a submarine in Australia and the issues with design, building and testing. A large proportion of the book is devoted to problems with the software for the combat data system of the submarine. What is surprising is that how even with a carefully documented system involving very detailed negotiations, misunderstanding between the parties as to who was to do what when can remain. This book provides useful insights for anyone involved in the development or acquisition of complex high technology products. The Australian Government is considering a Collins class submarine replacement and this book should be required reading for all involved in the new project.