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F14 Ordnance question: live weapons with blue sidewinders?


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Hi guys,

Just wondering about tomcats carrying CATM9s aka blue sidewinders.

I have seen photos of them carrying these with live bombs but I am wondering, did they ever carry a blue sidewinder with other live missiles? (Aim54/7/9). 

Did this happen for training at all or even just to carry missiles across to where they were operating from?

 

Thanks for the help.

 

Tom

 

 

 

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Don't see why they couldn't or wouldn't have. CATM-9's still have a "live" seeker head to them so, once the training mission was complete (dropping live bombs, firing live missiles ) the jets could still play around and lock up on each other on their RTB.

Steve

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During my years in Tomcats (87-01) we never flew CATM-9's with live missiles and I never say anyone else do it.

 

We never transported live missiles from one location to another either.

 

The only time we flew CATM-9's with anything live was when we were carrying/employing live air to ground ordnance (bombs).

 

Not saying it wasn't done, just saying I never saw anyone on the east coast do it and never heard of anyone on the west coast doing it either.

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On 10/2/2021 at 7:29 PM, tomthegrom said:

.. …. did they ever carry a blue sidewinder with other live missiles? (Aim54/7/9). 


IANAO but that sounds like an accident waiting to happen. 

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4 hours ago, GW8345 said:

During my years in Tomcats (87-01) we never flew CATM-9's with live missiles and I never say anyone else do it.

 

We never transported live missiles from one location to another either.

 

The only time we flew CATM-9's with anything live was when we were carrying/employing live air to ground ordnance (bombs).

 

Not saying it wasn't done, just saying I never saw anyone on the east coast do it and never heard of anyone on the west coast doing it either.

Just the person I was hoping to hear from. Thank you for the info and thanks Habu and A10 as well. 

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On 10/3/2021 at 9:58 PM, habu2 said:


IANAO but that sounds like an accident waiting to happen. 

 

How so? While not Tomcats, when I was with VMFA-134 we went on two Dets, one to Kaneohe and one to Key West. Both were missile shoots and we flew and expended live AIM-7 while the aircraft were carrying CATM-9's. 

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On 10/7/2021 at 7:42 AM, Dave Roof said:

 

How so? While not Tomcats, when I was with VMFA-134 we went on two Dets, one to Kaneohe and one to Key West. Both were missile shoots and we flew and expended live AIM-7 while the aircraft were carrying CATM-9's. 

 

You answered your own question, sir. An expended missile has an inert motor. It can't launch.

 

My experience (17 years loading F-16s) was mixing live and training rounds is a no-no. Yes, CATM-9s have live seeker heads, but they are shorted out to keep the canards from activating.

 

Vern

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7 minutes ago, admiralcag said:

 

You answered your own question, sir. An expended missile has an inert motor. It can't launch.

 

My experience (17 years loading F-16s) was mixing live and training rounds is a no-no. Yes, CATM-9s have live seeker heads, but they are shorted out to keep the canards from activating.

 

Vern

Methinks you misread his statment.  They flew a missile shoot that launched AIM-7s (expended the missiles) while carrying CATM-9 on the wingips.  Which, for a Hornet, isn't really unusual as they tend to want to have the Sidewinder on the tip (live or inert) as it helps with aeroelastic response of the wing.  Baby Hornets have a convoluted matrix of limitations that varies with what is under the wing, and also with whether or not there are missiles on the wingtips.  Also, an expended missile doesn't have an inert motor, it has an expended (burned) motor; it has nothing inside anymore.  An inert motor won't burn - that's the whole point of it being inert.

Edited by Joe Hegedus
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3 hours ago, admiralcag said:

 

You answered your own question, sir. An expended missile has an inert motor. It can't launch.

 

My experience (17 years loading F-16s) was mixing live and training rounds is a no-no. Yes, CATM-9s have live seeker heads, but they are shorted out to keep the canards from activating.

 

Vern

 

Well, it's painfully obvious you don't know what 'expended' means. Either that or you are completely confused. 

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On the USAF side, I think we're prohibited from flying training missions with a mix of live and training missiles *of the same type* because of incidents like this:

 

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/38216/an-eagle-named-opus-the-legend-of-the-air-forces-most-notorious-f-15

 

I won't try and speak about other airframes, but in the A-10 we're prohibited from carrying a mix of captive/training TGM-65's and live AGM-65's.  Doing so would just be an inevitable accident waiting to happen.  It makes sense.

 

Tom, I know that doesn't answer your question about the F-14, but maybe it sheds light on the background being discussed here.

Edited by Guard Hog
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3 hours ago, Guard Hog said:

On the USAF side, I think we're prohibited from flying training missions with a mix of live and training missiles *of the same type* because of incidents like this:

 


This incident, with the F-15 w mixed live & training rounds, is exactly the type of “accident waiting to happen” I was referring to earlier. 

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If I may throw out some info;

 

Just because there's a restriction for the USAF doesn't mean the USN/USMC have the same restriction. Currently there are no blanket restrictions in the USN/USMC for carrying inert and live missiles on the same aircraft. Certain missile variants are restricted from carrying live and inert on the same aircraft but there are no restriction for carrying CATM-9's with any live missiles.

 

It is illegal to do training with live missiles due an incident in 1987 when a VF-74 F-14A shot down an USAF RF-4C during a training missile unless it is a missile shoot (what Dave was describing).

 

Today, most inert missiles identify differently then their live counter parts and those that don't are not allowed to be carried with live missiles so there is very little chance of a live missile being fired by accident.

 

Please don't compare what the USAF does to the USN/USMC, they have totally separate philosophies when it comes to aviation. A prime example is this; the USAF tells the pilot/aircrew what they can do, the USN/USMC tells the pilot/aircrew what they can't do. Basically, for the USAF, if it's not written in their books, you can't do it, for the USN/USMC, if it's not written in the books, have at it. There are other differences between the services which I won't go into here but trust me, both services are vastly different when it comes to the way they operate.

 

/r

GW

 

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If CATM-9 is a sidewinder painted blue what it the pod that is a sidewinder body only with a tube on the nose?  ( I think its called ACMI pod)

See Hasegawa Weapons Set D

 

What is it used for, what does it record exactly, when would it be used, etc etc?
 

Edited by ElectroSoldier
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55 minutes ago, ElectroSoldier said:

If CATM-9 is a sidewinder painted blue what it the pod that is a sidewinder body only with a tube on the nose?  ( I think its called ACMI pod)

See Hasegawa Weapons Set D

 

What is it used for, what does it record exactly, when would it be used, etc etc?

 

Found this via a Google search. HTH

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3 hours ago, ElectroSoldier said:

If CATM-9 is a sidewinder painted blue what it the pod that is a sidewinder body only with a tube on the nose?  ( I think its called ACMI pod)

See Hasegawa Weapons Set D

 

What is it used for, what does it record exactly, when would it be used, etc etc?
 

There are several pods like that but the one I think you are describing is called a TACTS Pod.

 

There are also;

 

TCTS Pods

ARDS Pods

MOKKITS Pods

LATR Pods

 

Just to name a few, all fall under the "ACMI" or "TIS" group.

 

ACMI - Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation

TIS - Training Instrumentation Systems

Edited by GW8345
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7 hours ago, GW8345 said:

There are several pods like that but the one I think you are describing is called a TACTS Pod.

 

There are also;

 

TCTS Pods

ARDS Pods

MOKKITS Pods

LATR Pods

 

Just to name a few, all fall under the "ACMI" or "TIS" group.

 

ACMI - Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation

TIS - Training Instrumentation Systems

When would you see them fitted and what to?

 

Would you, for instance, see them fitted to an F-15E on a training mission in the UK?

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5 hours ago, ElectroSoldier said:

When would you see them fitted and what to?

 

Would you, for instance, see them fitted to an F-15E on a training mission in the UK?

I can't speak for USAF aircraft but for USN/USMC just about every platform capable of carrying ordnance would fly a TACTS Pod during some training missions.

 

I've even seen the pods hung from the refueling booms on H-53's.

Edited by GW8345
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16 hours ago, GW8345 said:

I can't speak for USAF aircraft but for USN/USMC just about every platform capable of carrying ordnance would fly a TACTS Pod during some training missions.

 

I've even seen the pods hung from the refueling booms on H-53's.

Our A-10's only flew with a ACMI pod one time when we went to a Red Flag at Nellis in 97. We, the Weapons Loaders, were not allowed to touch the pods, these were loaded and unloaded by civilian contractors on the base. For all our other stateside deployments, Combat Hammer at Hill AFB, a Green Flag at Nellis supporting the US Army, our summertime trips up to Ft. Drum in NY or, our yearly Snowbird trip to DM AFB, we never used the pod. Even during our local everyday training missions, the pod was not flown.

Steve

Edited by A-10 LOADER
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On 10/9/2021 at 3:30 PM, Guard Hog said:

On the USAF side, I think we're prohibited from flying training missions with a mix of live and training missiles *of the same type* because of incidents like this:

 

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/38216/an-eagle-named-opus-the-legend-of-the-air-forces-most-notorious-f-15

 

I am curious to hear about the missile selection and firing process. So if there is a captive on the left and live on the right (going by the article), when the pilot gets the tone and fires, is this primarily human error or the result of computer picking the missile? To expand on it, for say two Aim-9s on either wing, is the responsibility of the pilot to pick one specific one (i.e. left vs right), or is the selection computerized as long as there is a tone? 

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On 10/9/2021 at 11:51 AM, Dave Roof said:

 

Well, it's painfully obvious you don't know what 'expended' means. Either that or you are completely confused. 

I missed the 'and.' Yes, I'm confused. In my defense, I'm a loader and can barely stand upright.

 

Vern

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On 10/11/2021 at 10:10 AM, A-10 LOADER said:

Our A-10's only flew with a ACMI pod one time when we went to a Red Flag at Nellis in 97. We, the Weapons Loaders, were not allowed to touch the pods, these were loaded and unloaded by civilian contractors on the base. For all our other stateside deployments, Combat Hammer at Hill AFB, a Green Flag at Nellis supporting the US Army, our summertime trips up to Ft. Drum in NY or, our yearly Snowbird trip to DM AFB, we never used the pod. Even during our local everyday training missions, the pod was not flown.

Steve

The same here on the F-16. We flew ACMIs at Volk Field WI and at Nellis for Fighter Weapons School. Don't let the 462/2W1s touch them.

 

Vern

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4 hours ago, admiralcag said:

In my defense, I'm a loader and can barely stand upright.

 

When I'm loaded I can barely stand at all....  :beer4:

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On 10/11/2021 at 1:21 PM, Janissary said:

I am curious to hear about the missile selection and firing process. So if there is a captive on the left and live on the right (going by the article), when the pilot gets the tone and fires, is this primarily human error or the result of computer picking the missile? To expand on it, for say two Aim-9s on either wing, is the responsibility of the pilot to pick one specific one (i.e. left vs right), or is the selection computerized as long as there is a tone? 

 

In general each missile type will have a default station that is the first in priority when that missile type is selected.  Depending on the aircraft the pilot will have the option of "stepping" between the missiles or the aircraft may do it itself if it thinks the missile is bad, or in the case of an IR missile if the fuselage is blocking the view (missile on the left wing and target off the right side) it may step on its own to a missile on the appropriate side.  In the case of the Alaskan F-15 the pilot did not know that he had a live missile on board the aircraft.

 

Regards,

Murph

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51 minutes ago, Murph said:

 

In general each missile type will have a default station that is the first in priority when that missile type is selected.  Depending on the aircraft the pilot will have the option of "stepping" between the missiles or the aircraft may do it itself if it thinks the missile is bad, or in the case of an IR missile if the fuselage is blocking the view (missile on the left wing and target off the right side) it may step on its own to a missile on the appropriate side.  In the case of the Alaskan F-15 the pilot did not know that he had a live missile on board the aircraft.

 

Regards,

Murph

Thank you. Great info!

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3 hours ago, Janissary said:

Thank you. Great info!

 

Just to expand, in the F-15 the cockpit indications for a live missile and a CATM are the same.  You have to know from the preflight whether or not the missile is live.  

 

Regards,

Murph

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