03 Jul '11, 2am

Australian radar 'failing to detect boatpeople'

SYDNEY: A defence radar system costing nearly $2 billion has failed to detect any of the more than 200 asylum seeker boats that have landed on Australian shores in the past two years, a report said Sunday. Under a front-page headline "Border Radar Fiasco", the Sun-Herald said the Aus$1.8 billion (US$1.9 billion) Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN) was only able to detect vessels equivalent to an Armidale class patrol boat. The Armidale, which is used by the navy, is 56 metres long (183 feet) and has a displacement of 270 tonnes. It means the system is not alerting authorities to the often small, rickety boats that have ferried thousands of asylum seekers to the country on well-worn routes from Indonesia. This is despite successive governments in Canberra promising over the past decade that JORN would detect people-smuggling and illegal fishing boats, which are typica...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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