Orange "missiles"

Unread postPosted: 12 Mar 2005, 19:39
by FutureFlyer06
Now this may seem like a really stupid question to you guys, but I really want to know lol. What are those orange missiles that are sometimes seen on the wingtips of F-16s? If they are practice missiles, how exactly do they work and why don't they just use real sidewinders?

RE: Orange Missiles

Unread postPosted: 12 Mar 2005, 20:03
by DeepSpace
These are dummy "missiles", made out of some kind of Plastic I'd guess?

They are there just to prevent the wing from fluttering due to workload and pressure on the wing. They don't use real Sidewinders because there's no need to, and also because they might don't want to have all those living Sidewinders flying all over the place with new pilots :wink:.

BTW, sometimes you'll see blue missiles instead of orange.

They also sometimes use Smokewinders in airshows. These "missiles" don't have the front set of canards and are used to generate smoke.

Hope that helps :wink:

Unread postPosted: 12 Mar 2005, 21:45
by mark
No the missles are not made of plastic, nor are they put on the wingtips for the reason you stated. They are captive carry missles for training. They track IR sources like the real thing but do not fire. Some are painted orange for recognition purposes, for example in a 2V2 (all would be F-16's) the players might get confused as to who his wing man might be.....the orange ones solve this dilema.

Unread postPosted: 13 Mar 2005, 17:32
by EriktheF16462
No again, They are AMA/AMD pods and are used to ID different members of a given flight during training. Example, ACM mission, 2v2. 2 guys with orange 2 with grey. That way they can tell between vipers when training with each other. They have other uses but this is the most common.

Unread postPosted: 13 Mar 2005, 19:51
by sideshow
In the navy the orange pods are called TACTS pods. It stands for tactical air crew training system. Basiclly the pod sends the aircraft info back to a command center on the ground, so that the dogfight can be watched in real time. The engagement is also going to be recorded, so it can be used to debrief the pilots, like in the movie TOP GUN. The blue missles that look like a sidewinder, are called CATM-9's. AIM-9 stands for air intercept missle, CATM stands for captive air training missle. Basiclly the CATM is like a real, sidewinder, but dosen't have a warhead or rocket motor. In training, a single CATM can be used over and over to target your wingman or whoever you may be in a mock dogfight with. Thats why you may see an aircraft carrying a TACTS pod on one wingtip, and only a single CATM 9 on the other wing tip, that one missle can be used as many times as needed in a single engagement.

Unread postPosted: 13 Mar 2005, 21:08
by EriktheF16462
USAF CATMs are grey just like the real thing, just no zip or bang. We have ACMI pods that are used as telemtry pods on some ranges. They are grey also. I have loaded more than my fair share of all of them though these days the ACMI pods are loaded by contractors.

Unread postPosted: 13 Mar 2005, 22:08
by sideshow
EriktheF-16462 wrote:USAF CATMs are grey just like the real thing,

Yeah, I noticed the airforce does use gray CATM's. You still use blue lines instead of the yellow and brown ones though right? Just curious.

Unread postPosted: 14 Mar 2005, 00:49
by mark
Perhaps I should have defined my statement a little. When I retired from the 466th FS 5 years ago they had captive carry AIM 9L's that were painted orange for the reasons that I stated. I have no idea if they use them like that anymore or not. They would have looked similar to this pic

Unread postPosted: 15 Mar 2005, 21:52
by Taco44
My unit flies with these orange sidewinders. They are not any sort of tracking pod (ie ACMI, CATM) but simply dead weight. Often on there is a CATM missile on the opposing station. The orange missiles we have are hollowed out bodies filled with some sort of weight for ballast. I have also seen more and more that missiles in general are being moved to stations 2 & 8 to relieve some of the stresses that wingtip missilies add to the wing. In wartime, over in Iraq, we had to move the missiles because the stress was constantly loosening our wing fuel cell screws near the wing tip. Any way, off topic. I hope this helps.

Unread postPosted: 15 Mar 2005, 22:06
by Loader
This was a huge battle some years back, the discussion focused around allowing them to be painted orange for training, the logistics as to the upload/download of the orange vs. gray pods was a big factor. As we all can see the approval was granted. In the USAF, the missile body assembly (MBA) is painted orange, and can be attached to a GCS to create an orange CATM-9 or to an AMD to create an orange (at least partial) AMA. As Eric stated above, most commonly in the USAF it is the AMA config.

No stupid questions can be asked! Keep sending them in! (Within the guidelines of the board)

Unread postPosted: 06 Apr 2005, 15:56
by Hooah
Short answer. They are AMD pods. The specifics of an AMD shouldn't be discussed in this forum. They are painted Orange/Red simply for ID purposes in similar vs. similar air-to-air sorties. Hope this helps.

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2005, 17:19
by e6bill
Also, not all bases use the orange ones. We do here at Luke and it's a PITA to maintain. Fades quickly, paint is an issue because of the EPA. We use a adhesive film now, but have alternate methods in the works.

Unread postPosted: 05 Jul 2005, 15:05
by andylee
Orange AMA/AMD pods seems to the standard in Europe though judging from all the pics I've seen. Can be found on just about any fast movers on exercises or training.
USAF pods tend to be gray these days as mentioned

Unread postPosted: 05 Jul 2005, 21:07
by F16z28
I used to be at Luke. They also use the orange missles there so the newbie pilots don't run into eachother. I guess a number of years ago two jets were side by side and collided but I believe both were ok, before my time.

Unread postPosted: 07 Jul 2005, 18:14
by HI_Elvis
In the 466th FS at Hill (AFRC) we use the orange pods for identification as Friend or Foe during flight. Makes the target aircraft easier to identify for the other pilots from far away. The ones we use are never actual sidewinders or have seeker heads.

Mark, what shop were you in? I'm a loadie! Hooah.

Unread postPosted: 07 Jul 2005, 18:19
by mark
I was a flightline crew dawg. I crewed 230 while I was there. I was an ART for 6 years and a traditional reservist for 5.

Unread postPosted: 08 Jul 2005, 05:59
by HI_Elvis
I've been in the unit for about 6 years now, so I would barely remember ya......
I'm trying to remember who's on 230 now, but coming up blank. I'm going up this weekend. :( Too hot for a main UTA. You remember Bart? He's a SSGT now and an ART. He's still wild as ever.

Here's a picture I know you're going to like.


Unread postPosted: 09 Jul 2018, 09:58
by planehazza
Bumping an old thread. Dimensionally, how close to AIM9Ms are these? Can I take a 1/48 scale AIM9, round the seeker, trim the fins and will it accurately represent an AMA pod?