Air Defense Anti-Tank System


ADATS on display for the 2008 Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo
Type Self-propelled anti-aircraft weapon
Place of origin Switzerland
Service history
Used by Canada
Weight 15.8 tonnes
Length 4.86 m
Width 2.69 m
Crew 3 (commander, driver, system operator)

Armor 12–38 mm aluminium
8 ADATS missiles
Engine 6-cylinder two-stroke diesel General Motors/Detroit Diesel 6V53
212 hp (158 kW)
Power/weight 13 hp/tonne
Suspension torsion-bar
400 km
Speed 58 km/h (36 mph)[1]

The Air Defense Anti-Tank System (ADATS) is a dual-purpose short range surface-to-air and anti-tank missile system based on the M113A2 vehicle. It is manufactured by the Swiss company Oerlikon-Contraves, a member of the Rheinmetall Defence Group of Germany. The ADATS missile is a laser-guided supersonic missile with a range of 10 kilometres, with an electro-optical sensor with TV and Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR). The carrying vehicle has also carries a search radar with an effective range of over 25 kilometres.

Intended for sales into the US Army and Canadian Army, the system was developed and produced at a new facility in Quebec. In spite of successfully developing the system, by the time it was ready for service the ending of the Cold War led the US Army to cancel its orders, after Oerlikon invested over CHF 1 billion in the project.[2] A small number of vehicles, many of them the development prototypes, entered service with the Canadian Army.



ADATS entered service with the Canadian Army (in 1989[3]) as a mobile, M113 based system.

First systems were deployed as part of Canada's NATO contribution in West-Germany. 36 systems were delivered by 1994.[4] Cost of the system was initially $650 million. Over the life of the project, total cost reached $1,1 billion.[5]

After their return from Germany, Canadian ADATS systems were only operationally deployed once: In June 2002, they were used to defend the airspace of the G8 summit held in Kananaskis, Alberta. Canadian ADATS were never operationally deployed in Bosnia or Afghanistan.[5] As of late 2012, the ADATS has been withdrawn from Canadian service with no planned replacement announced.[5][6]

Canadian acquisition of the ADATS system was marred by a scandal relating to the purchase of the land where assembly of the system was to take place. The property had been bought and sold several times over a short period of time and its price inflated before it was sold to Oerlikon. It led to the resignation of Minister of State for Transport Andre Bissonnette [7] who had been directly involved in the land deal, and several criminal accusations.

US Army evaluation

The ADATS cropped up from an extensive competition during which it was selected by the U.S. Army for the Forward Area Air-Defense (FAAD)[8] program under the designation MIM-146 for the missile. The US Army planned to purchase 387 systems.[5] Test results indicated that the system did not perform well in inclement weather. Ultimately the FAAD contract was cancelled in the early 1990s after the end of the Cold War.


The Royal Thai Air Force acquired one static shelter-based system from Oerlikon Canada, linked to a Skyguard fire control system.[4]


In the late 1990s, Canada offered the surplus ADATS systems to the Greek military as part of a Low Level Air Defence program.[9] The offer was considered but not accepted. Greece eventually purchased the Russian SA-15.

Modernization program

In September 2005, the Canadian Government and the Canadian Forces announced a modernization program, transforming the ADATS and associated command, control and communications systems into a Multi-Mission Effects Vehicle (MMEV). The MMEV was to retain and enhance ADATS anti-aircraft and anti-armor capability (85% or better engagement success rate) to meet new threats, provide indirect fire support to ground troops, and would be mounted on a LAV III wheeled armoured vehicle.

Multi-Mission Effects Vehicle

It was to be fitted with a 3D radar, non-line-of-sight missile (using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to gather required intelligence and target location at a range of 8 km or more) and low-cost precision kill (LCPK) missile (fireable on direct shot at an 8 km+ range), based on a 2.75-inch rocket and advanced Battle Management Command and Control Communication Computer and Information (BMC41), including Link 11/16, to provide Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR). In July 2006, Canadian Forces Land Staff recommended the cancellation of the Multi-Mission Effects Vehicle Project.[10] The program was cancelled in 2007.



  1. "Canadian Army Equipment - ADATS". Department of National Defence (Canada). Archived from the original on 2011-06-10.
  2. Hug, Peter; Meier, Ruedi (1993). La reconversion: transformer en emplois civils les postes de travail liés à l'armée. Lausanne, Switzerland: Editions d'en bas. p. 15. ISBN 2-8290-0198-2.
  3. (as of 9 July 2013)
  4. 1 2 "ADATS Short Range Air Defence System, Canada". Kable Intelligence Limited. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Castonguay, Alec (5 October 2009). "Défense: un milliard jeté à l'eau". Le Devoir (in French). Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  6. Lert, Frédéric (18 April 2012). "ADATS : une fin sans gloire…". Forces Operations Blog (in French). Forces Operations Blog. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  7. Burns, John F. (January 25, 1987). "SCANDAL IMPERILS MULRONEY'S HOLD". New York Times. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  8. MIM-72 / M48 Chaparral Forward Area Air-Defense System [FAADS], Federation of American Scientists Web site. Accessed 2 January 2007.
  9. Epps, Kenneth. "Spotlight on Canadian Military Exports: Canadian ADATS Offered to Greece". Project Ploughshares. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  10. "39th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION - Standing Committee on National Defence". Canadian Parliament. 2007-02-22. Retrieved 2009-07-21.

External links

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