, short for Digital Automated Tracking and Resolving
, was a pioneering computerized battlefield information system.
Development on DATAR was started by the Canadian Navy
in partnership with Ferranti Canada
(later known as Ferranti-Packard) in 1949. DATAR combined data from various ships providing commanders with an "overall view". The system proved too costly for the post-war Navy to develop alone, and when the Royal Navy
and the United States Navy
declined to share in the program it was ended. The US later decided they needed just such a system, and developed the Naval Tactical Data System
to fill this role.
In 1948, the Canadian Defence Research Board
(DRB) sent a letter to various Canadian
electronics firms informing them of their intention to start a number of projects that would partner the military, academia and private companies. A copy of the letter was sent to Ferranti Canada, then a small distributor of Ferranti
's United Kingdom
electrical equipment. The letter was forwarded to the then-CEO
of Ferranti in the UK, Vincent Ziani de Ferranti, who became excited at the prospect of enlarging their Canadian operations largely funded by the government. At a meeting in October 1948 de Ferranti was disappointed to learn that while the DRB was equally excited, the amount of money they had to offer was basically zero.
Word of the meeting reached Jim Belyea, a... Read More