Ant has task Tstamp which easily get the current date or system time with TODAY property, the output date can be formatted in any particular custom date/time patterns which are defined in the Java SimpleDateFormat class.

The example to echo current date in Ant:

<tstamp>
  <format property="TODAY_UK" pattern="yyyy-mmmm-dd" locale="en,UK"/>
</tstamp>
<echo>the current date is ${TODAY_UK}</echo>

It set property TODAY_UK with that the date is today and pattern “yyyy-mmmm-dd” using English locale. then echo the value, note locale specifics the timezone to format for displaying time.

The example to echo current time in Ant:

<tstamp>
  <format property="TODAY_UK" pattern="HH:mm:ss:sss zzz" locale="en,UK"/>
</tstamp>
<echo>the current time is ${TODAY_UK}</echo>

We used a different time pattern to get current time up to milliseconds.

The entire ant script XML to get system date and time:

Build.xml
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="no"?>
<project basedir="." default="echotime" name="Echo system date/time">
  <target name="echotime">
    <tstamp>
      <format property="TODAY_UK" pattern="yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss:sss zzz" 
 locale="cn,CN"/>
    </tstamp>
    <echo>the system date/time is ${TODAY_UK}</echo>
  </target>
</project>

The output was

Buildfile: build.xml

echotime:
[echo] the current time is 2012-12-12 15:41:33:033 GMT

BUILD SUCCESSFUL