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AIM-9 version query

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Hello all,


As far as I know the blue color on AIM-9 was used to indicate that it was a training version of the missile.


In this instance, in the photo, the load that is hanging on the right pylon seems to appear as a Sidewinder missile without complete tail fins. The date of the photo is unknown but most possibly it was taken in 1980’s or early 1990’s.


Could anyone kindly inform or describe what kind of a device is it?


Thank you very much in advance.


Kind regards,

Arkut Yuksel




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All of your basic information seems correct, the only thing I might question is the era of your photo but it depends which operator is depicted (slatted F-4E/F is apparent from the image).


Blue is the standard NATO color to denote training missiles, but you must understand there are different varieties of that training - some only for loading/unloading (but not cleared for flight), others for "captive carry" only, with or without the targeting devices of a live missile.


What your photo depicts is what is known as an "acquisition round," which cannot be fired because it has no rocket motor or aft fins (note all-blue body and cropped tail).  This allows the carrying aircraft to practice locking on to a target as they would with a live missile, but with no danger of accidentally shooting (as has happened accidentally on a few occasions).


Based on the forward fin shape, the Sidewinder variant in this case is either an AIM-9J, AIM-9N, or AIM-9P, which are virtually identical for modeling purposes.  The J and N were used by the USAF starting from the early 1970s, while the P was a further improved model introduced in the mid-70s.  More on the history and variety of Sidewinder variants can be read HERE

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Thanks a lot :)


I forgot to mention the aircraft itself but the picture speaks by itself.


My main aim was to verify the precise description for it and now I am convinced for what you mentioned. That it was used for air-air training.




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