ADATS on display for the 2008 Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo
TypeSelf-propelled anti-aircraft and anti-tank missile system
Place of originSwitzerland / United States
Service history
Used byCanada
Production history
No. built
  • Canada: 36
  • Thailand: 4
  • USA: 2
Mass15.8 tonnes
Length4.86 m
Width2.69 m
Crew3 (commander, driver, system operator)

Armor12–38 mm aluminium
8 ADATS missiles
M242 Bushmaster 25mm cannon (US evaluation version only)
Engine6-cylinder two-stroke diesel General Motors/Detroit Diesel 6V53
212 hp (158 kW)
Power/weight13 hp/tonne
400 km
Maximum speed 58 km/h (36 mph)[1]

The Oerlikon/Martin Marietta Air Defense Anti Tank System (US designation MIM-146 ADATS) is a dual-purpose short range surface-to-air and anti-tank missile system based on the M113A2 vehicle. The ADATS missile is a laser-guided supersonic missile with a range of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), with an electro-optical sensor with TV and Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR). The carrying vehicle also has a search radar with an effective range of over 25 kilometers (16 miles).

The first firing of an ADATS missile occurred in June 1981. Canada was the launch customer for the system with 36 Units on the M113 chassis ordered for the Canadian Army in 1986. The system was further developed and produced at a new facility in Québec. The US Army also selected ADATS installed on the M2 Bradley chassis but 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 developmental prototypes, entered service with the Canadian Army.


ADATS was trialed or proposed on a variety of different platforms to suit the needs of the user for the defense of mobile field formations or fixed sites such as airfields. Besides the M113A2 tracked vehicle chosen by Canada, ADATS was also installed on the M2 Bradley chassis for the US Army and the Swiss MOWAG Shark 8x8 vehicle, and proposed for the British Warrior MICV chassis. A shelter mounted version either with on-mount radar for autonomous use, or without radar for coordination with a central fire control center could be mounted on a 4x4 or 6x6 military truck or installed in fixed locations. This version was purchased by Thailand. A version mounted on the 4 wheel trailer used for the Oerlikon Contraves Skyguard fire control system and without radar, probably intended for integration with Skyguard and Oerlikon GDF 35mm guns, was also proposed.

There was also a proposed naval version called Sea Sprint using the standard 8-missile turret minus the radar, proposed for the close-in anti-air and anti-missile self-defense role.

Oerlikon also suggested a dedicated anti-tank system without the radar, including a version mounted on a long articulating arm that could be elevated high above the vehicle to clear trees or terrain while the launch vehicle remained hidden.


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 31 March 2011,[6] the ADATS has been withdrawn from Canadian service with no planned replacement announced.[5][7]

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 André Bissonnette who had been directly involved in the land deal, and several criminal accusations.[8]

US Army evaluation

Evaluation in 1987 on a Bradley chassis, with a 25 mm autocannon.

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)[9] 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][unreliable source?][10]


In the late 1990s, Canada offered the surplus ADATS systems to the Greek military as part of a Low Level Air Defence program.[11] The offer was considered but not accepted. Greece eventually purchased the Russian Tor missile system.

Modernization program

Main article: Multi-Mission Effects Vehicle

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.

CGI Rendition of a 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 a >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.[12] The program was cancelled in November 2006.

ADATS has been withdrawn from Canadian service in 2012.[13]



  1. ^ "Canadian Army Equipment – ADATS". Department of National Defence (Canada). Archived from the original on 10 June 2011.
  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. ^ a b "ADATS Short Range Air Defence System, Canada". Kable Intelligence Limited. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d Castonguay, Alec (5 October 2009). "Défense: un milliard jeté à l'eau". Le Devoir (in French). Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  6. ^ "Rheinmetall Canada - History".
  7. ^ Lert, Frédéric (18 April 2012). "ADATS : une fin sans gloire…". Forces Operations Blog (in French). Forces Operations Blog. Archived from the original on 10 June 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  8. ^ Burns, John F. (25 January 1987). "SCANDAL IMPERILS MULRONEY'S HOLD". The New York Times.
  9. ^ MIM-72 / M48 Chaparral Forward Area Air-Defense System [FAADS], Federation of American Scientists Web site. Accessed 2 January 2007.
  10. ^ Skaarup, Harold (2011). Ironsides: Canadian Armoured Fighting Vehicle Museums and Monuments. iUniverse. p. 231. ISBN 9781462034659.
  11. ^ Epps, Kenneth. "Spotlight on Canadian Military Exports: Canadian ADATS Offered to Greece". Project Ploughshares. Archived from the original on 22 March 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  12. ^ "39th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION – Standing Committee on National Defence". Canadian Parliament. 22 February 2007. Archived from the original on 13 June 2013. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
  13. ^ "We Have No Air Defence for Our Army – Why?". 24 January 2022.