The Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN) is a network of three remote over-the-horizon radar (OTHR) located in Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia. The state-of-the-art defence system provides wide-area surveillance at ranges of 1,000 to 3,000 kilometres and plays a vital role in supporting the Australian Defence Force’s air and maritime operations, border protection, disaster relief and rescue operations. BAE Systems Australia has played a central role in the development of Australia’s critical sovereign surveillance capability, JORN, over the past 35 years, working closely with the Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group to enhance and drive the network’s unique technology. JORN works by refracting high-frequency electromagnetic waves off the ionosphere to “see” objects thousands of kilometres away that are invisible to conventional radars because of the curvature of the earth.
JORN is controlled and operated by the Royal Australian Air Force from the Battlespace Surveillance Centre at the Royal Australian Air Force Base, Edinburgh, north of Adelaide, alongside BAE Systems Australia headquarters.
What we do
Since the beginning, BAE Systems’ brief has been to support the development of long range detection capability with the original Jindalee radar based in the Northern Territory near Alice Springs as a test bed. BAE Systems continued to support the system once it became an operational radar that was subsequently integrated into the JORN network. BAE Systems Australia also provides deeper maintenance for the majority of JORN network hardware.
BAE Systems Australia has been chosen to deliver the JORN Phase 6 upgrade, which will support an extra 100 jobs within the company, and another 100 in the supply chain. With the federal government’s investment on the JORN network, BAE Systems will upgrade both the hardware and the system’s software and support sustainment over the next 10 years.
Collaboration a driver for success
The JORN Phase 6 upgrade is supported by a large network of approximately 113 Australian suppliers, including indigenous suppliers and local SMEs.
JORN is 100% designed and developed in Australia with BAE Systems playing a critical role in its development over the past four decades. Collaboration with partners in Defence, CASG, industry and academia has underpinned the world-leading approach in delivering a truly sovereign capability.
Partnering with academia is an important part of engaging talented and skilled students early, funding teaching programs and growing research centres for new technology development. BAE Systems’ recent partnership with DSTG, Defence and the University of Adelaide to launch the JORN Open Innovation Network (JOIN) will accelerate this approach.
Red Ochre Labs, BAE Systems’ hub for disruptive technology and early product development, also presents significant opportunity for further research and development into keeping JORN at the forefront of High Frequency (HF) technology and ensuring the continued development of this critical sovereign capability.
Having the ability to do some of that research and development alongside key Defence, industry and academic partners will keep JORN, and BAE Systems’ technology more broadly, at the cutting edge and delivering for the Australian Defence Force.
What to learn more about JORN? Listen to this podcast episode where we travel to remote Australia to meet the people behind this home-grown technology and discover why JORN is the jewel in Australia’s defence crown.