The transfer of responsibility for the support of major elements of the JORN Over the Horizon Radar system from Lockheed Martin Australia to BAE Systems Australia (BAES) is now under way.
This follows the announcement in March that BAES was the successful tenderer for Joint Project 2025 Phase 6, which encompasses a $1.2 billion upgrade to JORN and a separate 10-year support contract.
Work implementing the support handover officially began on 4 April, drawing on a 280-strong workforce that will grow during the year.
BAES assumes full responsibility for the JORN Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) at RAAF Edinburgh in September, for Radar One at Longreach, Queensland in October, for Radar Two at Laverton, Western Australia in November, and for remote ionosphere sounders and transponders in December.
The company was already responsible for the management and support of Radar Three at Alice Springs.
BAES is teaming with RCR Infrastructure, part of RCR Tomlinson, who will provide remote site facilities management. Other partners include Daronmont, who will upgrade the sounders and transponders and assist with several builds of upgraded software at the JCC, and Raytheon, who will provide systems engineering expertise and some niche software skills.
Steve Wynd, BAES’ JORN campaign lead, told ADM that the company will introduce a common operating model for the three radars and intends to move personnel between the sites to improve learning and generally uplift the broader JORN capability.
In the longer term, enhanced automation and more performance measurement diagnostics in the system would allow operators in the JCC to handle additional maintenance and diagnostic functions and manning at the remote sites to be reduced.