Australian Submarine Farncomb SSG 74

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From a total of six units, the HMAS Farncomb (SSG 74) represents the second Collins class submarines built for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Her named is associated with the Rear Admiral Harold Farncomb, the submarine was laid down in 1993 and launched in December 1995. This was incidentally the first submarine to be completely constructed in Australia.

Due to some technical problems that conspired, the Farncomb was the only vessel of her class in operational condition in 2009, which left Australia in a complicated situation in case of military conflict for her submarine force.

SSG 74 Farcomb badge

SSG 74 Farcomb badge


  • Installed power: 3 × Garden Island-Hedemora HV V18b/15Ub (VB210) 18-cylinder diesel motors, 3 × Jeumont-Schneider generators (1,400 kW, 440-volt DC)
  • Propulsion Main: 1 × Jeumont-Schneider DC motor (7,200 shp), driving 1 × seven-bladed, 4.22 m (13.8 ft) diameter skewback propeller
  • Emergency: 1 × MacTaggart Scott DM 43006 retractable hydraulic motor
  • Speed:
    10.5 knots (19.4 km/h; 12.1 mph) (surfaced and snorkel depth)
    21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph) (submerged)
  • Range:
    11,000 nautical miles (20,000 km; 13,000 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) (surfaced)
    9,000 nautical miles (17,000 km; 10,000 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) (snorkel)
    32.6 nautical miles (60.4 km; 37.5 mi) at 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph) (submerged)
    480 nautical miles (890 km; 550 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) (submerged)
  • Endurance: 70 days
    Test depth: Over 180 m (590 ft) (actual depth classified)
  • Complement:
    Originally 42 (plus up to 12 trainees)
    Increased to 58 in 2009
  • 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
  • Armament:
    6 × 21-inch (530 mm) 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


HMAS Farcomb SSG 74 in Hawaii.

HMAS Farcomb SSG 74 in Hawaii.

Operational Missions:


  • In May 1997, two groups of six female sailors were posted to Collins and Farncomb as a test on the feasibility of mixed-sex crews aboard submarines.
  • In 1998, while returning from Timor, all three of Farncomb ’​s diesel generators broke down.
  • As part of combat system trials, Farncomb fired a live Mark 48 Mod 4 torpedo at HMAS Torrens on 14 June 1999, sinking the decommissioned destroyer escort.[20]
  • On 19 March 2007, during a five-month intelligence-gathering mission in Asian waters, fishing lines became entangled in Fancomb’s propellor.
  • In 2008 and 2009, personnel shortages reduced the number of submarines able to be deployed to three, with the maintenance schedule and battery malfunctions on several boats combining to reduce this to one, Farncomb in mid-2009.
  • On the morning of 13 March 2009, Farncomb was one of seventeen warships involved in a ceremonial fleet entry and fleet review in Sydney Harbour.
  • In January 2010, Farncomb was forced to return to port for urgent repairs after a generator failure.
  • Farncomb was deployed to Hawaii to participate in the 2012 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) multinational exercise.
    • On 22 July, the submarine fired a Mark 48 torpedo at the former ammunition ship USNS Kilauea, breaking the ship in two and sinking her.
  • In October 2013 participated in the International Fleet Review 2013 in Sydney, Australia.

▽ Royal Australian Navy



Frigate Surface Force
The Australian Navy Frigate
Surface Force


HMAS Collins-class Rankin

Submarine Force
The Australian Navy
Submarine Force



Amphibious Force
The Australian Navy
Amphibious Force



Patrol Force
The Australian Navy
Patrol Force


HMAS Ballarat

MineHunting Force
The Australian Navy
Mine Warfare Force


HMAS Stuart

Replenishment and Survey Force
The Australian Navy
Replenishment and Survey Force



Training Ships and other Non-Commissioned Units
The Australian Navy Training Ships
and Other Non-Commissioned Units

▽Warships in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN)

Frigate surface Force (11): The principal striking force of the RAN comes from the eleven frigates of the surface force: eight of them belong to the Anzac class and the rest (three) are units from the Adelaide class.

Submarine Striking Force (6): The RAN operates six Collins-class submarines. Due to technical and manpower problems these submarines might be replaced in the future by Japanese Soryu-class submarines.

Amphibious Force (3): There are a huge variety of amphibious warfare units, which include two Canberra-class landing helicopter dock ships and the landing ship HMAS Choules.

Patrol Boat Force (13): There are thirteen Armidale-class patrol boats that perform coastal and economic exclusion zone patrols.

Mine Hunting and Warfare Force (4 + 2 in reserve):
There are four Huon-class vessels that are used for minehunting and clearance (another two are commissioned but in reserve since October 2011).

Replenishment Force (2 + 6 survey duties):
The task for replenishment at sea is provided by two ships, Sirius and Success. In addition, there are two Leeuwin-class and four Paluma-class vessels perform survey and charting duties.

Training Units (1 + 1 support vessel + 2 patrol boats):
The RAN operates the sail training ship Young Endeavour, the support vessel ADV Ocean Shield, and two Cape-class patrol boats. The latter ones are acquired thanks to the Australian Border Force.

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