BAE Systems Australia has been awarded a $1.2 billion contract to upgrade and support Australia’s world-leading over the horizon (OTHR) system.
The 10-year Project AIR 2025 Phase 6 contract to upgrade the Jindalee Operational Radar Network – or JORN – was announced today by Defence Minister, Senator Marise Payne and Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher Pyne at the JORN Coordination Centre at RAAF Edinburgh, north of Adelaide.
JORN is an over-the-horizon radar (OTHR) which bounces radar waves off the ionosphere, allowing the network to see aircraft and vessels 3,000km or more to the north of Australia, and the upgrade project will see key elements of the revolutionary system redesigned including the incorporation of an open architecture backbone and new technology insertions.
The network has two operational radar sites located at Longreach in Queensland and Laverton in central WA, while a research site is located near Alice Springs. All three sites are controlled from the JORN Coordination Centre at Edinburgh.
“The upgraded JORN system will be 100 per cent designed, developed and delivered in Australia, by Australians. BAE Systems will take Australian Defence science and technology research advancements from the lab to the operational environment,” Minister Pyne stated.
BAE Systems has partnered with Raytheon Australia, Daronmont Technologies and RCR Tomlinson to deliver the upgrades and to maintain the capability. BAE Systems will also leverage work it has done for the US Government’s fourth-generation multi-channel digital HF network for the JORN Phase 6 upgrade.
“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,” Minister Payne said.
“It represents world leading technology that is unmatched by any other country.”
Defence released a request for tender to BAE Systems Australia and Lockheed Martin Australia in April 2016 for the Phase 6 upgrade, and the announcement of the winning tender had initially been anticipated as early as last year’s Avalon Airshow, but was delayed to “late 2017 or early 2018”.
VIDEO – This 2016 BAE Systems Australia video explains how JORN works.