Beyond JORN – Project Coorong
Australia’s Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN) Over The Horizon Radar (OTHR) is set to undergo a significant upgrade to capability and sustainability over the next few years, and innovative work is also being undertaken by a Defence and Industry partnership aimed at delivering even more capability in the next decade.
The Defence Science and Technology Group (DST Group, formerly DSTO) has partnered with Lockheed Martin Australia on Phase One of Project Coorong.
The group oversaw the construction of a specialised test facility in outback Australia to continue testing of the next generation of OTHR technology.
After years of modelling conducted by DST Group the project was shelved, due in part to a lack of funding required to take it forward to the test phase but also because of the requirement to focus resources on the JORN upgrade now in the pipeline.
Under the leadership of Chief Defence Scientist Dr Alex Zelinsky, DST Group has been seeking strategic partnerships with industry to jointly develop and bring to the market a range of technologies and, in the case of Project Coorong, the alliance signed with Lockheed Martin Australia back in 2014 appears to have been successful.
The next phase of JORN capability will be delivered under Project JP2025 Phase 6, to address current sustainment issues and leverage DST Group’s world-leading research and development experience with OTHR systems via the incorporation of new and emerging technologies. Initial Operational Capability for the $1 billion project is planned to occur in the 2018-2021 timeframe and the upgrade is intended to keep JORN relevant until 2042 and beyond.