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C-RAM in Afghanistan
11 March 2011

The Counter-Rocket Artillery and Mortar early detection radar at Multinational Base Tarin Kot, Afghanistan.
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The ADF’s Counter-Rocket Artillery and Mortar System (C-RAM) continues to prove itself since beginning operations in Tarin Kot in Afghanistan on 28 December 2010.

Officer Commanding C-RAM-1 Major Corey Shillabeer said the system was successfully enhancing force protection to the troops providing 24 hour, 360 degree protection at the multi-national base.
 
“I’m happy to say that we have detected every indirect fire attack that has occurred so far and on each occasion have been able to provide adequate warning,” Major Shillabeer said.

“What we are aiming to do is quite a feat, considering the speed at which rockets travel.”

Major Shillabeer said the Australian C-RAM works in conjunction with other Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) assets such as the American tethered aerostat surveillance system and Australia’s Scaneagle UAV, allowing coalition forces to respond to any insurgent threat.
 
“Our system is comprised of two different types of radars all looking for objects which are moving quickly through the sky,” he said.

“We then rapidly provide other enablers with information about where something has been launched from in order to respond appropriately.”

The C-RAM capability will soon be implemented across other patrol bases in the Uruzgan Province to provide better protection for soldiers and the personnel that work within the bases.

Since the implementation of C-RAM, Major Shillabeer and his team of 31 soldiers have worked to counter the threat of IDF.

 “Anywhere between five and twenty seconds worth of warning provides soldiers enough time to react and be able to hit the ground.

“If they are on the ground when a rocket goes off they have a far better chance of survival, in fact, a five times better chance of survival than standing.”