BAE opens high frequency lab for JORN radar technologies

BAE Systems Australia has opened a high frequency (HF) laboratory in South Australia that will be used to develop new technology for the upgraded Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN).

Using high frequency (HF) technologies developed in Australia, JORN monitors Australia’s northern approaches for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) through a network of three remote radars in Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

The radar network supports the Australian Defence Force’s air and maritime operations, border surveillance, disaster relief and search and rescue operations.

The current $1 billion, ten year upgrade will increase both the surveillance area and the data gathered by the network.

Up to 80 specialist engineers and graduate engineers will work in the purpose built facility at Edinburgh Parks, continuing to evolve the “DNA” of the world leading HF technology which will underpin the JORN upgrade.

BAE Systems’ investment in the facility will enable continued research and development of new technologies that will be integral to increasing surveillance of the northern and western approaches to Australia.

It will provide a world class environment to support specialist and graduate engineers to develop, build and integrate the latest technologies into the network.

The laboratory will also be a catalyst for the research and development of Australian HF technologies to continue to grow the nation’s defence exports.

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

“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 program have the opportunity to bring new insight and innovation to JORN that will ensure it continue to play a key role in protecting the nation.”

The new laboratory will also facilitate continuing collaboration with DST Group to further evolve the world class High Frequency sensor technology developed for JORN.