An upgrade to the ADF’s Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN) has achieved a final operational capability (FOC), Defence Minister David Johnston has announced.
Senator Johnston said the successful delivery of Project JP 2025 Phase 5 has improved JORN’s over-the-horizon-radar performance and its integration with the wider Defence command and control and intelligence networks.
“The Jindalee Operational Radar Network contributes to Australia’s security environment by providing wide area surveillance of Australia’s northern approaches,” Senator Johnston said in a statement. “Achieving FOC means the system’s components are now fully operational and fully developed and they meet the final standards required by Defence to operate effectively. FOC takes into account all elements required to sustain and operate a capability with the necessary support, maintenance, training, personnel and operational arrangements in place.”
JORN comprises three radar sites located at Longreach in Queensland, Laverton in WA and Alice Springs in NT operated by 1 Radar Surveillance Unit (1RSU) based at RAAF Edinburgh in SA. The system has the capability to see flying and sea surface objects at least 3,000km away in an arc from Australia’s NE to WNW.
According to the Defence Material Organisation’s website Phase 5 of JP2025 sort to: “build on the capabilities of the JORN system delivered in 2003. The specifications that JORN was designed and accepted against were established in the early 1990s. Since that time, the Alice Springs radar has been in operational service with the RAAF and has evolved significantly, though continual R&D efforts by DSTO and operational requirements derived from service use. This has enabled Defence to identify technical and operational areas in JORN that could readily be enhanced. Phase 5 will therefore introduce these developments to the Queensland and WA radars, as well as further progress integration of the three radars into one national OTHR radar network, improve the distribution of surveillance information from the network to national agencies and undertake further research and development of OTHR technology.”
The prime contractors for the JORN upgrade are Lockheed Martin Australia and BAE Systems Australia.