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BAE Systems Australia has opened a laboratory in South Australia to develop technologies for the country’s Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN).

The laboratory will support the research and development of high-frequency (HF) technologies that will boost the JORN’s capabilities.

JORN comprises a network of three remote radars in Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. It assists the Royal Australian Air Force in monitoring Australia’s northern approaches.

It supports a range of operations performed by the Australian Defence Force, including air and maritime operations, border surveillance, disaster relief, search and rescue operations.

In March, BAE Systems was awarded an A$1bn ($691.48m) contract under Project AIR 2025 Phase 6 to carry out a ten-year JORN upgrade.

The project is designed to increase the surveillance area and the data gathered by the network.

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By GlobalData

Upgrade work will include modernisation of the surveillance system, operations centre, sounder and transponder systems, shared services, information and communications technology infrastructure.

In support of this contract, the new laboratory will have up to 80 personnel working on the development of the HF technology, which will underpin the JORN upgrade.

BAE Systems Australia chief executive Gabby Costigan said: “Our investment in this laboratory will ensure that we can significantly improve the radar’s capability and better support this critically important defence asset.

“The project is designed to increase the surveillance area and the data gathered by the network.”

“This is a unique facility that will allow the development and testing of specialist equipment to ensure that the decade-long upgrade realises the full potential of JORN beyond 2042.

“The next generation of engineers working on this programme have the opportunity to bring new insight and innovation to JORN that will ensure it continues to play a key role in protecting the nation.”

Furthermore, the laboratory will serve as a catalyst to boost the export of Australian HF technologies.