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Upgraded ADATS provides more, better capabilities

Nfld Sapper

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Upgraded ADATS provides more, better capabilities
by Sgt Steve Hofman


CFB SUFFIELD, Alberta — Each fall, gunners of the 4th Air Defence Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery (4 AD Regt, RCA), travel to CFB Suffield in south­eastern Alberta to conduct an air defence anti-tank system (ADATS) live-fire camp.

ADATS is a self-propelled missile system designed to defeat air, ground and surface threats. This year, during Exercise POTENT KNIGHT 08, 4 AD Regt fired 100 missiles with the upgraded ADATS.

“The 400 Series,” said Major Jeffery Schamehorn, commander of 128 Battery, “allows us to centrally command the weapon systems through a series of computer consoles linked to the radar consoles.”

The 400 Series updates provide more and better capabilities for the ADATS. Several of the soldiers had just graduated from their trade qualification course and there was a great deal of firing during the four days allocated to live firing.

“A battery commander in a distant location can issue fire commands directly down to the weapon systems,” Maj Schamehorn said. “We have come back to the basics with this camp. We brought the graduating class of the DP1 [Army Developmental Period One] course with us, some with no more than nine months in the military, to fire live missiles.”

Game Station® generation
Maj Schamehorn reported that his soldiers have achieved “unprecedented degrees of accuracy on this camp, partly due, in no small part, to the Nintendo Game Station® generation the soldiers belong to. This is a real benchmark for the soldiers. It was a very exciting camp with astonishing success.”

Air defence gunners are trained to prevent enemy aircraft from interfering with operations, especially airfields.

“I am pretty lucky,” said Gunner Kenneth Salema, one of the new soldiers. “Just three weeks after my course and I’m firing five of these missiles at air and ground targets.

Bombardier Levi Sheppard was one of the more experienced soldiers firing. “My job is to acquire and track the targets,” he said, explaining his duties as an ADATS operator. “Once the order to engage is given, I fire the missile and control its flight all the way to the destruction of the target.

“The new kit is a lot better,” he said about the 400 series. “We are able to pick up the targets a lot faster and get the vital information to the various places it needs to go a lot faster. This has been pretty good so far. We are all a big family, so it is nice to get out on these firing camps together.”

4 AD Regt, RCA is a Regular Force lodger unit at CFB Gagetown, but the Suffield training area is one of few capable of holding this camp because of the ADATS’ long range air, ground and helicopter engagement capabilities.

To learn more about becoming an air defence gunner in the Army, go to www.forces.ca/v3/engraph/jobs/jobs.aspx?id=022.

12-03-08a.jpg

Newly qualified Gnr Kenneth Salema operates the ADATS external target designator chair during Exercise POTENT KNIGHT 08.

12-03-08b.jpg

Newly-qualified Gnr Simon Collins helps load a missile on ADATS


EDITED TO ADD CAPTIONS TO PICTURES
 

dapaterson

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Ex-Dragoon said:
Nice to see we are maintaining that capability.

Until the Olympics, at least...


Hopefully the fiasco that is ADATS has taught us that we don't want to be the only customer of a vendor.
 
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aesop081

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dapaterson said:
Hopefully the fiasco that is ADATS has taught us that we don't want to be the only customer of a vendor.

CH-148  Cyclone........
 

Air Gunner

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The ADATS is an extremely capable system, with a poor platform. The 400 series provides it with a full blue force tracker capability, with an ability to provide an air picture to NORAD through an ASCC, which is a capability that is vital far past Vancouver
 
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aesop081

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with an ability to provide an air picture to NORAD through an ASCC,

I would rather say "contribute to" the air picture rather than provide it. Without other assests, the air picture from a point AD system is rather limited.
 

birdgunnnersrule

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The ADATS cannot provide the air picture (for a number of different reasons) to NORAD via the ASCC.  The radar picture from the ADATS goes to the ASCC and not beyond this location.
 
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