Due to health and safety concerns the museum's fleet of vessels will be closed from Sunday 15 March until further notice.
Venture into the secret world of submarine warfare on HMAS Onslow.Take a 360 degree tour
Our submarine was decommissioned in 1999, just weeks before coming to the museum. It's still close to operational condition. So, if you go onboard, listen out for the diving alarm!
Onslow was commissioned during the Cold War, a tense time that called for a submarine to watch, listen and collect information without detection. It's most secretive work was tracking Soviet submarines moving into the Arabian Gulf from Vladivostok via the Coral Sea and the Great Australian Bight.
"How amazing was the submarine!?!...apart from a few occasions of feeling a little anxious about the closed in space, it was so very interesting. I've never seen so many valves and buttons. How they know what each one does is unbelievable."
With 5 other Oberons, Onslow gave the Royal Australian Navy a formidable submarine force. The motto of the navy's submarine arm is "Strength, silence, surprise". This explains many of Onslow's characteristics, including:
- a diving chamber for Special Forces to leave the boat for covert operations
- a gash ejector containing weighted rubbish (gash) bags. When ejected, the bags sink to the ocean floor so no debris floats to give away the submarine's position
- soundproofing on all equipment to make Oberons one of the quietest class of submarines ever built.
"One guide today on the submarine in particular was wonderful although all the guides on all the boats were knowledgeable and extremely kind to our three-year-old son today. Highly recommend and thank you."
Onslow has travelled the equivalent of more than 16 times around the world, serving Australia with quiet distinction for 30 years.
Explore the danger and drama of life on board Onslow in Action Stations, our immersive experience.