Sleeping submariners innovative support structure

This article has photo gallery Published on Mr Andrew Bujdegan (author)

Location(s): Fleet Base West

Topic(s): Fleet Base West, Submarine Force, Science, Technology & Innovation

Prototype of the Submarine Accommodation Capsules (SAC) that can be stored in similar fashion as torpedos ready for trials. (photo: Unknown)
Prototype of the Submarine Accommodation Capsules (SAC) that can be stored in similar fashion as torpedos ready for trials.

A group of Royal Australian Navy submariners have developed an innovative solution to providing temporary accommodation on board submarines.

The sailors from Fleet Support Unit - West at HMAS Stirling understood the need to replace the out-dated wooden accommodation beds currently used in the Navy’s Collins class submarines and developed the Submarine Accommodation Capsule.

The capsule was designed to be durable, practical, and interface with existing infrastructure, requiring no additional support equipment or modifications to be installed within the submarine.

The team utilised specialist manufacturing and welding skills of Petty Officer Maritime Technician Adam Crich and Leading Seaman Marine Technician Adrian Vorwerk to improve the initial Submarine Force prototype design, which was developed by Able Seaman Marine Technician Joshua Perham. 

The ability to “think outside of the box” has enabled additional features to be incorporated as the project developed. An example is the locking band, which is designed to hold the two halves of the Submarine Accommodation Capsule together during transportation.

Another practical addition was the inclusion of detachable “wings” for the capsule, providing a wider, more generous sleeping area.

Project oversight was provided by Warrant Officer Paul Ross, who was pleased with the way personnel worked together and evolved the original concept.

“The inclusion of personal equipment storage and ease of transport of the final product has displayed the amount of rigour and thought that has gone into the design,” Warrant Officer Ross said. 

Commander Submarine Force, Captain Geoff Wadley was proud of the end result.

“The team identified a need, took the initiative in proposing a solution and got on with the job; they produced a simple yet effective way of making life a bit easier for our submariners – well done,” he said. 

The next stage in the project will be to conduct sea trials of the Submarine Accommodation Capsule, ensuring the design meets the stringent requirements for use on board submarines.