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ALR 2001 Electronic Support Measures (ESM) equipment

A photograph of an Orion in flight

In 1979, Defence scientist John Curtin conducted a study that exposed limitations in the Orion electronic support measures (ESM) system that had been part of the aircraft’s original equipment.

He then played a major role in defining the Australian operational requirements of an ESM system for the Orion and in the subsequent design of the ALR 2001 with defence electronics company AWA Defence Industries (now part of British Aerospace Australia).

The ALR 2001 significantly enhanced the Orion’s maritime surveillance capability. It was successfully introduced into operational life with the Royal Australian Air Force flying on numerous fleet concentration exercises and was also flown on the United States Navy electronic warfare range at Patuxent River in May 1996.



1996 — Minister’s Award

John Curtin
For his contribution to improving the operational capability of the RAAF’s Orion fleet with the development and installation of one of the world’s most advanced ESM systems, the ALR 2001.