BAE Systems buys antenna and communications SME


BAE Systems Australia has purchased Radio Frequency Systems (Australia), taking control of a key partner in the modernisation of Australia’s Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN, pictured) and other critical defence projects.

The decision to buy the company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Radio Frequency Systems (Germany), came as that company planned to move out of the defence sector.

BAE Systems said in a statement that RFS had a long history in major Australian defence projects and the transaction would ensure the intellectual property and High Frequency (HF) Radar and communications antenna design capabilities remain a sovereign capability.

Programmes using RFS HF Antenna portfolio include JORN, the High Frequency Modernisation program, Project Nullarbor and, more recently, the REDFIN program.

BAE is currently updating the technology on the JORN over the horizon radar systems from analogue to digital.

The acquisition includes key subject matter experts in antenna design, development and production, with a number of employees have transferring into the BAE Systems organisation.

The transaction will enable the development of BAE Antenna Products in the market and integration into opportunities including the company’s work to deliver HF Radar exports.

It forms part of the expansion of BAE Systems’ Strategic Surveillance strategy to secure the company’s long term future in Over The Horizon Radar (OTHR) design, development and sustainment.

BAE Systems Australia Managing Director Defence Delivery Andrew Gresham, said: “By acquiring the RFS capability, BAE Systems is building on more than fifty years of Australian innovation with future targeted investment in our people, our products and our trusted partners.

“This transaction will ensure key knowledge & IP is retained in Australia, enabling future investment and innovation in key HF systems antenna products.

It will also ensure supply chain assurance from our trusted network of industry partners for HF systems antenna products in Australia and globally.”

Picture: BAE Systems/JORN

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