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

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).

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

“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

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

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


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