Submarine engineer recognised for early attack design, capability transition planning

Published on LEUT Geoff Long (author)

Topic(s): Australia Day Honours, Conspicuous Service Medal

File image of Commander Lindsay Gordon, RAN. (photo: )
File image of Commander Lindsay Gordon, RAN.

File image of Commander Lindsay Gordon, RAN.

File image of Commander Lindsay Gordon, RAN.

The wide-open spaces of his home state of South Australia stand in contrast to the narrow confines of the Navy submarines to which Commander Lindsay Gordon has dedicated the majority of his career, earning him a Conspicuous Service Medal in today’s Australia Day Honours List.

Commander Gordon has played a pivotal role in helping define Navy’s requirements for its next-generation Attack Class Submarines and more recently planning the capability transition from the Collins Class Submarines to Attack Class Submarines.

Commander Gordon joined the Royal Australian Navy in 2000 and served at sea in a number of engineering positions in HMAS Newcastle and HMA Submarines Waller, Collins and Sheean.

During his career, he has deployed on Operations SLIPPER, CATALYST and RELEX II.

He is a graduate of the Capability and Technology Management Program and was promoted to Commander in 2015.

Whilst the majority of his naval career has been dedicated to submarines, Commander Gordon said it was not a path he had envisioned while completing high school in Port Lincoln.

“I hadn’t even thought of the military in school. I decided to join the Navy during university and even then hadn’t really considered volunteering for submarines,” he said.

These days, however, he is a convert to the submariner’s domain and believes that submarines remain the most sophisticated single piece of technology that Australia is capable of building.

“Collins is a very capable submarine and significant upgrades and life extensions will make it even more so in the next decade,” Commander Gordon said.

Commander Gordon’s work has been pivotal in reducing long-term risk to capability, and has proved fundamental to the early design decisions for successful delivery of the Attack Class Submarine.

His insight and leadership were critical in informing senior leadership about the complexities and challenges associated with transitioning from a force of six Collins Class to one of 12 Attack Class Submarines.

Commander Gordon’s citation reads:

Commander Lindsay Ridgway GORDON RAN, NSW

For meritorious achievement as the Deputy Director Submarines - Platform.

Commander Gordon's professionalism, analytical skills and knowledge of submarine capability and sustainment were instrumental in Navy's definition of the requirements for a superior submarine capability. His work in the development of tools and methodologies has been pivotal in reducing long-term risk to capability and cost, and has proved fundamental to the early design decisions for successful delivery of the Attack Class submarine. His work has contributed to other Navy projects that have leveraged off and emulated his innovative methodologies.