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Local tech partnership key to AIR 2025 JORN upgrade

jorn northern territory
BAE is conducting major upgrade work to the Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN) in concert with local support (Source Dept of Defence)

BAE Systems has announced that it will integrate customised software to strengthen the Jindalee Operational Radar Network's (JORN) ability to protect Australia's northern borders as part of the AIR 2025 Phase 6 program. 

BAE Systems has selected South Australian company Dedicated Systems to provide the software that will be integral to the upgrade of the Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN). JORN provides long range, persistent wide area surveillance of aircraft and ships across Australia’s northern maritime approaches.


BAE Systems chief executive Gabby Costigan said, "The application of rapidly developing technology will help ensure Australia maintains a capability edge and superior situational awareness to ensure our northern approaches are secure."

As part of the AIR 2025 project BAE Systems is undertaking the most significant system upgrade of the world-leading radar since it was accepted into service in 2003. The new software will significantly increase the area covered by the radar and the amount of information gathered for the Royal Australian Air Force.

This work will contribute important new knowledge for the major AIR 2025 JORN Phase 6 upgrade planned to start in 2018. The upgrade to the over-the-horizon radar (OTHR) network is designed to ‘open’ the system’s architecture enabling the insertion of next generation technologies and extend the operational life of JORN to beyond 2042.

An important part of the radar upgrade is the planned migration to a modular and scalable framework of open system architecture which will increase the reliability and performance of the radar. This will also enable much quicker system maintenance and upgrades and can be easily integrated with other software.

Through Dedicated Systems, software connectivity specialist RTI will provide a product called ‘Connext DDS’ as the framework for the software upgrade. This will be installed at the three radar sites (in Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia) over five years, with the industry standard software enhancing real time data distribution.

Costigan said, "Our all-Australian solution ensures a high level of industry participation and the application of rapidly developing technology."

Dedicated Systems worked with RTI to validate the software modernisation for BAE Systems in a two-year demonstrator project to ensure it would meet the needs of the JORN upgrade. BAE Systems, Dedicated Systems and RTI are also collaborating to establish HF technology exports opportunities as part of the partnership.

JORN is a network of three remote OTHR radars located in the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia. The state-of-the-art defence system provides wide area surveillance at ranges of 1,000 to 3,000 km, and plays a vital role in supporting the Australian Defence Force’s air and maritime operations, border protection, disaster relief and search and rescue operations.

The JORN network is owned and operated by the RAAF from the JORN Coordination Centre at the Royal Australian Air Force Base, Edinburgh, north of Adelaide, alongside BAE Systems Australia headquarters which are also located at Edinburgh.
BAE Systems Australia has a team of more than 200 dedicated engineers and technicians committed to the ‘lifecycle’ of the highly sophisticated JORN capability providing hardware and software engineering development, manufacturing, 24/7 operational support and radar maintenance, logistics and operator training in some of Australia’s most remote areas.
Costigan elaborated further, "Together with our partners, we are committed to ensuring a high level of Australian industry and academic participation in JORN."

BAE Systems Australia has been providing some of the world's most advanced, technology-led defence, aerospace and security solutions for the Australian Defence Force for 65 years. The company employs around 3,500 people at more than 25 sites across Australia. 

Dedicated Systems was established in South Australia in 2003 and is a leading supplier of embedded systems software, firmware and hardware. The RTI Connext databus is a software framework that shares information in real time, making applications work together as one, integrated system.

Local tech partnership key to AIR 2025 JORN upgrade
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