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HMAS Rankin (SSG 78)

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{{Infobox ship characteristics
Ship class=
Ship displacement=
  • 3,051 tonnes (surfaced)
  • 3,353 tonnes (submerged)
Ship length=
Ship beam=
Ship draught= at waterline
Ship power=3 × Garden Island-Hedemora HV V18b/15Ub (VB210) 18-cylinder diesel motors, 3 × Jeumont-Schneider generators (1,400 kW, 440-volt DC)
Ship propulsion=
  • Main: 1 × Jeumont-Schneider DC motor (7,200 shp), driving 1 × seven-bladed, diameter skewback propeller
  • Emergency: 1 × MacTaggart Scott DM 43006 retractable hydraulic motor
Ship speed=
  • (surfaced and snorkel depth)
  • (submerged)
Ship range=
  • at (surfaced)
  • at (snorkel)
  • at (submerged)
  • at (submerged)
Ship endurance=70 days
Ship test depth=Over (actual depth classified)
Ship complement=
  • Originally 42 (plus up to 12 trainees)
  • Increased to 58 in 2009
Ship sensors=
  • Radar:
  • GEC-Marconi Type 1007 surface search radar
  • Sonar:
  • Thales Scylla bow and distributed sonar arrays
  • Thales Karriwarra or Namara towed sonar array
  • ArgoPhoenix AR-740-US intercept array
  • Combat system:
  • Modified Raytheon CCS Mk2
Ship EW=
Ship armament=
  • 6 × bow torpedo tubes
  • Payload: 22 torpedoes, mix of:
  • Mark 48 Mod 7 CBASS torpedoes
  • UGM-84C Sub-Harpoon anti-ship missiles
  • Or: 44 Stonefish Mark III mines
Ship notes=The sonars and combat system are in the process of being updated across the class, to be completed by 2010. These characteristics represent the updated equipment.
HMAS Rankin is the sixth and final submarine of the Collins class, which are operated by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Named for Lieutenant Commander Robert William Rankin, the boat was laid down in 1995, and commissioned into the RAN in March 2003, following major delays.
Early in her career, Rankin was the subject of a documentary series and a coffee table book. She was the first submarine since 1987 to be awarded the Gloucester Cup.


Rankin was laid down by Australian Submarine Corporation on 12 May 1995. The boat was launched on 7 November 2001.Yule & Woolner, The Collins Class Submarine Story, p. 317 She was delivered to the RAN on 18 March 2003 and commissioned on 29 March 2003, 41 months behind schedule, after major delays in the completion and fitting out of the boat due to the diversion of resources to the "fast track" submarines and and repeated cannibalisation for parts to repair the other five Collins-class boats.Yule & Woolner, The Collins Class Submarine Story, pp. 317–8, 348
Rankin was named for Lieutenant Commander Robert William Rankin, who died when the ship he commanded, , engaged a force of five Japanese warships on 4 March 1942, to allow an Allied convoy to escape.Yule & Woolner, The Collins Class Submarine Story, p. 340 The boat is nicknamed "The Black Knight".


The Collins class is an enlarged version of the Västergötland-class submarine designed by Kockums.Woolner, Procuring Change, p. 7 At in length, with a beam of and a waterline depth of , displacing 3,051 tonnes when surfaced, and 3,353 tonnes when submerged, they are the largest conventionally powered submarines in the world.Wertheirm (ed.), Combat Fleets of the World, p. 18Jones, in The Royal Australian Navy, p. 244 The hull is constructed from high-tensile micro-alloy steel, and are covered in a skin of anechoic tiles to minimise detection by sonar.Yule & Woolner, The Collins Class Submarine Story, pp. 165–74‘Built in Australia’ Collins rolls out, Jane's Defence Weekly The depth that they can dive to is classified: most sources claim that it is over ,Wertheirm (ed.), Combat Fleets of the World, p. 19Grazebrook, RAN prepares for Collins class
The submarine is armed with six torpedo tubes, and carry a standard payload of 22 torpedoes: originally a mix of Gould Mark 48 Mod 4 torpedoes and UGM-84C Sub-Harpoon, with the Mark 48s later upgraded to the Mod 7 Common Broadband Advanced Sonar System (CBASS) version.SSK Collins Class (Type 471) Attack Submarine, naval-technology.comHeavyweight Torpedo – Mark 48, United States Navy Fact File
Each submarine is equipped with three Garden Island-Hedemora HV V18b/15Ub (VB210) 18-cylinder diesel engines, which are each connected to a 1,400 kW, 440-volt DC Jeumont-Schneider generator. The electricity generated is stored in batteries, then supplied to a single Jeumont-Schneider DC motor, which provides 7,200 shaft horsepower to a single, seven-bladed, diameter skewback propeller.Grazebrook, Collins class comes up Down Under The Collins class has a speed of when surfaced and at snorkel depth, and can reach underwater. The submarines have a range of at when surfaced, at at snorkel depth. When submerged completely, a Collins class submarine can travel at maximum speed, or at . Each boat has a endurance of 70 days.

Operational history

During a multinational exercise in September 2003, which was attended by Rankin and sister boat Waller, Rankin successfully "sank" a Singaporean anti-submarine warfare vessel.Sherman Aussie Collins-Class Sub "Sinks" US Boat
thumbleftRankin underway at periscope depth during the boat's participation in RIMPAC 04
In 2004, a film crew was embarked aboard Rankin for the creation of Submariners, a six-part documentary aired by SBS in 2005 and depicting life aboard a submarine.Spencer, Wheeler, & Eccles, Submariners – making the TV series, p. 27 The film crew was on board from February to April 2004, during which the boat completed pre-deployment trials, participated in the submarine rescue exercise Pacific Reach, and made a diplomatic visit to Kure, Japan.Spencer, Wheeler, & Eccles, Submariners – making the TV series, pp. 27–8 They later rejoined Rankin during the submarine's deployment to Hawaii for RIMPAC 04 in June and July.Spencer, Wheeler, & Eccles, Submariners – making the TV series, p. 28 Later that year, Rankin was also the subject of the book Beneath Southern Seas.Navy assists with launch of pictorial record of Australian Navy submarines press release The coffee table book, which encompasses the history of the Royal Australian Navy Submarine Service, was primarily based on photographs and interviews of Rankin and those aboard taken by the authors during a twelve-day voyage from Sydney to Fremantle, concluding the six-month deployment started during the filming of Submariners.Davidson & Allibone, Beneath Southern Seas, pp. 121–4, 133 The voyage—the longest undertaken by a Collins-class submarine to that date—began with workups in February, and saw the submarine visit Korea, Japan, and Hawaii, and participate in various multinational exercises before returning to Fremantle via Sydney.Davidson & Allibone, Beneath Southern Seas, p. 133 Rankin was at sea for 126 days, 80% of which was spent underwater.
On 10 June 2005, Rankin was presented with the Gloucester Cup.Davidson & Allibone, Beneath Southern Seas, p. 204 Presented to the RAN vessel with the greatest overall efficiency over the previous twelve months, Rankin was the first Collins-class submarine to earn the Cup, and the first submarine to receive it since in 1987. The award was again presented to Rankin in 2008.Jeffrey, Presentation of the 2007 Gloucester Cup to HMAS Rankin, speech
Rankin was docked for a long maintenance period in 2008, but workforce shortages and malfunctions on other submarines requiring urgent attention have drawn this out: in 2010 RAN and ASC officials predicted that she would not be back in service until 2013.Oakes, Two subs out of action for 9 years At the end of the works on Rankin, personnel were transferred from (which was commencing a similar period of maintenance and upgrades), and Rankin arrived at Fleet Base West on 1 October 2014.


;Journal and news articles
;Other media

External links

  • Royal Australian Navy webpage for HMAS Rankin (SSG 78)
  • Submariners Documentary site

Category:Collins-class submarines
Category:Ships built in South Australia
Category:2001 ships
Category:Active submarines of Australia
Category:Military Units in Western Australia

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