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Oerlikon ADATS

Air Defense Anti-Tank System (ADATS)

Canada | 1989

"The ADATS lived a short service live with the Canadian Army - unfortunately having arrived at the end of the Cold War."

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one land system design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Oerlikon ADATS Air Defense Anti-Tank System (ADATS).
1 x Detroit Diesel Model 6V-53 6-cylinder water-cooled diesel-fueled engine with an output of 212 horsepower driving a conventional track-and-wheel arrangement.
Installed Power
36 mph
58 kph
Road Speed
249 miles
400 km
The physical qualities of the Oerlikon ADATS Air Defense Anti-Tank System (ADATS).
15.9 ft
4.85 meters
O/A Length
8.9 ft
2.7 meters
O/A Width
8.2 ft
2.5 meters
O/A Height
34,833 lb
15,800 kg | 17.4 tons
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Oerlikon ADATS Air Defense Anti-Tank System (ADATS).
8 x Dual Purpose Missiles (FLIR and TV guidance) fitted in two banks of four missiles each.
8 x Oerlikon Aerospace dual-purpose surface-to-air / anti-tank missiles.
Notable series variants as part of the Oerlikon ADATS family line.
ADATS - Base Air Defense System component fitted to existing M113A2 or Bradley vehicle chassis; 36 examples taken on by the Canadian Army (these since retired).

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/14/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

The Canadian ADATS ("Air Defense Anti-Tank System"), a Western product of the later Cold War period, was categorized as a SHOrt-Range Air Defense (SHORAD) system used to deny airspace and ground-space from encroaching enemy elements. The Oerlikon turret (brought about by Swiss-based Oerlikon) was the primary component of ADATS and could be mounted onto a tracked or wheeled chassis such as the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC), the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) or the LAV-25 8x8 Armored Fighting Vehicle (ARV) (the Canadian version used the M113). The Canadian Army ended as the only notable operator of the ADATS system, joined in foreign sales only by the nation of Thailand which took on just a single turret example for fixed placement.

The United States Army, at one time, evaluated the ADATS under the Forward Area Air-Defense (FAAD) initiative but the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s marked an end to this interest. Similarly Greece passed on ex-Canadian Army ADATS vehicles in favor of the ASRAD "Hellas" system from Rheinmetall of Germany.

Canadian Army service entry was in 1989 and early use featured them as part of the NATO air defense presence for West Germany. Beyond this, the units went on to see very little operational service in a warzone. Their cost in development and maintenance ensured a short life with the Canadian Army who promptly retired the line around 2012 with successor planned.

As finalized, ADATS fitted an unmanned turret with a missile warload set as two banks of four missiles each around a radar fit. Effective range was out to 13 kilometers (8 miles) against air- or ground-based targets and the onboard radar could reportedly track up to twenty targets. The missiles relied on a laser fuse detonation with variable delay feature and utilized a combination fragmentation/shaped-charge warhead to penetrate a stated 900mm+ of Rolled Homogeneous Armor (RHA) armor. The missiles featured FLIR (Forward-Looking InfraRed) and TV guidance.

The ADATS system was manufactured in Zurich (Switzerland) and Quebec (Canada). The Canadian model, built atop the M113 hull, retained its Detroit Diesel 6-cylinder diesel engine of 212 horsepower offering road speeds near 35 miles per hour. Operational range was out to 400 kilometers. Cross-country travel was aided through a torsion bar suspension system and the base crew numbered three - driver, command, and system operator. A large, powered ramp at the rear of the hull offered clear entry/exit for the crew.

An attempt was made to modernized the ADATS line through the MMEV (Multi-Mission Effects Vehicle) promising better system performance - particularly accuracy. The chassis of choice was to become the LAV-III (or similar 8x8 wheeled vehicle. Other features boasted for the improved design included long-range, Non-Line-Of-Sight (NLOS) Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs), a 3D radar system and InfraRed vision equipment. Originally intended for service in 2010, this initiative fell to naught om 2007 - aiding the ADATS in its demise.

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Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Oerlikon ADATS. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 36 Units

Contractor(s): Oerlikon Contraves Canada / Defense R&D - Canada / Switzerland
National flag of Canada National flag of Thailand

[ Canada (retired); Thailand (single example; fixed defense) ]
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Image of the Oerlikon ADATS
Image from the United States Department of Defense imagery database.
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Image of the Oerlikon ADATS
Image from the United States Department of Defense imagery database.

Going Further...
The Oerlikon ADATS Air Defense Anti-Tank System (ADATS) appears in the following collections:
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