BAE Systems Australia is set to carry out a major $1.2bn upgrade on the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN) to modernise the country’s defence force.

Based in Longreach, Queensland; Laverton, Western Australia; and Alice Springs, Northern Territory, the network consists of three radar sites controlled from the JORN Coordination Centre at RAAF Base Edinburgh in South Australia.

Located in remote parts, the radars are used to detect and track air as well as maritime targets from the country’s northern approaches.

The JORN modernisation programme, which will continue for ten years, will require a highly technical workforce, supporting more than 500 technical jobs.

Australian Department of Defence Minister Senator Marise Payne said: “This upgrade will ensure the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is well-equipped with a world-leading over-the-horizon surveillance capability.

“The JORN radar system is a testament to the ingenuity, dedication and collaboration of airforce operators, Australian scientists, and Australian industry over more than 50 years.”

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

Resulting from a close collaboration between the defence and Australian industry, the JORN upgrade project will help improve the capability of the radar system.

Australian Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said: “The upgraded JORN system will be 100% designed, developed and delivered in Australia by Australians.”
The project will help generate 200 new job opportunities at BAE Systems and through the supply chain, with most positions open in the Edinburgh Defence Precinct of Adelaide’s northern suburbs.

Pyne added: “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.”

Being a part of Project AIR 2025 Phase VI, the current upgrade will ensure that the JORN radar system continues to protect Australia’s borders beyond 2040.

BAE Systems is collaborating with Raytheon Australia, Daronmont Technologies, and RCR Tomlinson in order to jointly deliver the radar enhancement and maintain the JORN capability.