HMAS Orion was laid down by Scotts Shipbuilding and Engineering Company at Greenock, Scotland on 6 October 1972, launched on 16 September 1974, and commissioned into the RAN on 15 June 1977.
HMAS Orion paid off into reserve at Garden Island, Western Australia in 1996. She remained there for several years, until she was marked for disposal as scrap in September 2003. Efforts to hand her over to a State Government for preservation as a museum ship or sinking as a dive wreck failed, and submissions for disposal companies were closed off on 6 August 2004. The submarine was scrapped by Tenix at Henderson, Western Australia in December 2006. The sail was given to the City of Rockingham and is now mounted as a permanent memorial at Naval Memorial Park, Rockingham Western Australia.