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Short Range Air Defense (SHORAD) is a group of anti-aircraft weapons and tactics that have to do with defense against low-altitude air threats, primarily helicopters and low-flying close air support aircraft such as the A-10 or Sukhoi Su-25. SHORAD and its complements, HIMAD (High to Medium Air Defense) and THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) divide air defense of the battlespace into domes of responsibility based on altitude and defensive weapon ranges.
The Canadian Forces Land Force Command used the Air Defense Anti-Tank System (ADATS) based on the M113A2 prior to its retirement from service in 2012. ADATS is a completely self-contained system in an unmanned turret with FLIR (Forward-Looking Infrared) and TV sensors, laser rangefinder and designator, a search radar. Composed of eight missiles, the ADATS can find and hit multiple threats in few second. Also in the Canadian Army, the Coyote Reconnaissance Vehicle and LAV III hold anti aircraft turrets that are capable of destroying attacking aircraft. They have a range of 2400 meters. After the withdrawal of the ADATS, Rheinmetall Canada made the AMADS (Advanced Man-portable Air Defense System) which serves as the short range air defense weapon for the Canadian army.
In the United States Army, Avenger air defense artillery battalions will be assigned to a theater or corps, and may attach air defense platoons to a brigade combat team or maneuver battalion. SHORAD units are based upon a mounted platform, the AN/TWQ-1 Avenger, which utilizes the FIM-92 Stinger missile coupled with a FLIR, laser range finder, and a M3P .50 caliber machine gun for close-in defense.
In the United States Marine Corps, there are only two existing Low Altitude Air Defense (LAAD) Battalions.
Related military occupational specialties
The following Military Occupational Specialties (MOS's) are related to SHORAD:
- 14G: Air Defense Tactical Operations Center Operator (formerly 14J)
- 14S: Avenger Crew Member / MANPADS Fire Unit
- 7212: Low Altitude Air Defense Gunner (USMC)
- THAAD - Terminal High Altitude Area Defense