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Source: BAE Systems Australia

Source: BAE Systems Australia

Australia Defence announces A$1.2-billion upgrade for long-range high frequency radar system

In a joint media statement by Australian Minister for Defence and Minster for Defence Industry, Australia announced plans to conduct significant upgrade to its over-the-horizon radar system, the Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN).

JORN is used to protect Australia’s northern coastal approaches by detecting and tracking air and maritime targets through a network of three remote radars. The radars play a vital role in supporting the Australian Defence Force’s air and maritime operations, border surveillance, disaster relief and search and rescue operations. 

“The JORN Radar System is testament to the ingenuity, dedication and collaboration of Air Force operators, Australian scientists and Australian Industry over more than 50 years. It represents world leading technology that is unmatched by any other country,” Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne said.

The A$1.2 billion upgrade will further enhance JORN’s ability to provide even better security for Australia while supporting hundreds of jobs in Adelaide and regional Australia.

At its peak, the A$1.2 billion upgrade will require a highly technical workforce, supporting more than 500 highly technical jobs.

BAE Systems Australia will undertake the significant upgrade by taking Australian Defence Science and Technology research advancements from the lab to the operational environment. BAE Systems is partnering with Raytheon Australia, Daronmont Technologies and RCR Tomlinson to deliver the advancements and maintain the JORN capability.

“Together with our partners, we are committed to ensuring a high level of Australian industry and academic participation in JORN. Our collaborative approach will allow for the application of rapidly developing technology to ensure Australia maintains a capability edge and superior situational awareness to ensure our northern approaches are secure,” BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive, Mr Gabby Costigan, said in the company’s press release.

BAE Systems Australia has committed to contribute up to A$10 million to the initiative that involves partner universities – Flinders University, University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia – to support the creation of new Defence-focused courses and targeted research and development.

According to Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne, 200 new positions will be created in BAE Systems and through the supply chain as they take on this important project. Most jobs will be created in the Edinburgh Defence Precinct, of Adelaide’s northern suburbs.

“This project will also see a significant investment in the Alice Springs site and dozens of jobs maintained across the regional network at the radar sites in the Northern Territory, Queensland, and Western Australia,” Minister Pyne said

The JORN Coordination Center is where the Royal Australian Air Force controls the three JORN radars located in remote parts of Longreach (Queensland), Alice Springs (Northern Territory) and Longreach (Western Australia).

Minister Payne said the radar and infrastructure upgrade will ensure that Australia’s world leading over the horizon radar remains at the forefront of technology.

“This upgrade will ensure the Australian Defence Force is well-equipped with a world leading over the horizon surveillance capability,” Minister Payne said.

 “This project will significantly re-design the JORN Radar capability and deliver on the Government’s commitment to ensuring our strategic advantage into the future as outlined in the 2016 Defence White Paper,” she added.

The Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP said JORN was another example of success resulting from close collaboration between Defence and Australian industry.

“The upgraded JORN system will be 100% designed, developed and delivered in Australia; by Australians”, Minister Pyne said.

More than 20 specialist Australian SMEs will participate in the supply chain to ensure broader Australian industry participation and a strong focus on innovation to support the upgrade.

JOIN will support 60 graduate positions over the life of the JORN upgrade and will also support industry with the establishment of an Innovation Laboratory that will provide a secure facility to allow greater collaboration to develop new, or improve existing, defence technologies.

The upgrade is part of Project AIR 2025 Phase 6 and will ensure that JORN continues to protect Australia’s borders beyond 2040 with a world leading over the horizon radar capability.

The project will take 10 years to complete and is part of the Government’s commitment to modernise the Australian Defence Force.

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