Defence is teaming with BAE Systems Australia and the University of Adelaide to boost interest in the study of high-frequency radar technology in a move aimed at building the number of specialist-trained engineers.
The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will include establishing a Centre for High Frequency Technologies, strengthening Australia’s world-leading high-frequency (HF) systems capability.
The agreement is set to increase knowledge and understanding of the domain in which Australia’s Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN) – an over the horizon high frequency radar – operates.
“It is critically important that Australia maintains its leadership of the technologies that are at the heart of JORN and other strategic defence assets," BAE Systems CTO Brad Yelland said. “The partnership will focus on rapidly developing cutting edge technology to meet the future defence needs of the country to ensure Australia maintains superior situational awareness to keep our borders secure
“In doing so, JORN will provide a catalyst for economic growth and will create a pipeline of talent that will be able to lead the continued evolution of critically important defence technologies well into the future.”
“The University of Adelaide is delighted to deepen our long-standing relationship with the defence sector through this new partnership," Professor Michael Webb, Director of Defence, Cyber and Space at the University of Adelaide, said. “Our partnership with Defence Science and Technology Group in ionospheric physics and radar systems research will deliver the insights necessary to enable BAE Systems and Defence to maximise the performance achievable through the JORN Phase 6 upgrade project."
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the collaboration will bring together important resources, expertise and facilities that are critical to maintaining Australia’s national security.
“This MoU formalises the JORN Open Innovation Network, which will promote innovation and cross-disciplinary research on the science and engineering of HF systems,” Minister Reynolds said.
“It is a significant step forward in growing and strengthening a highly skilled sovereign HF radar workforce and technology pipeline.”
“The Centre will develop and commercialise new technologies that will benefit defence industry and Defence’s ability to transition innovation into capability,” Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said.
“This key partnership comprises a five-year extendable program that will assist academia to provide undergraduate and post-graduate education in an area of critical importance to Defence.
“Ultimately, the program will also bolster employment opportunities in upper atmosphere physics and radio frequency engineering.”