CATMs

Xbradtc a few months ago had posted about the TACTS pod. Along with TACTS another component of any tactical aircrew training is the CATM. CATMs, or Captive Air Training Missiles are designed to aerodynamically (in terms of weight and balance on the launch aircraft) and electronically simulate either an air-to-air or air-to-ground missile.

These training devices contain no warhead or propulsion but typically contain the appropriate electronics to simulate the missile. Visually they are distinguishable by the blue bands (in the US military anyway) around the diameter of the missile body.

CATM-9X
Note the blue band around this CATM-9X.

CATMS provide aircrew with an electronic and visual reference to the missile’s WEZ (Weapons Engagement Zone) envelope and unlike the live weapons are reusable and safe (they don’t have a warhead).

CATMS come in all kinds of flavors to simulate both air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles:

CATM-65 Maverick
This is an CATM-65 which is the CATM version of the AGM-65 Maverick air-to-ground missile.
CATM-120B
This is a CATM-120B which is the CATM version of the AIM-120B AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile). Note the missile’s fins and control surfaces are missing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CATMs themselves contain the guidance sections of the respective missiles they simulate. The CATM-120B AMRAAM (right) contains the active seeker guidance section of the AIM-120 series air-to-air missiles. The CATM-65 Maverick (left) contains the TV or IIR (Imaging InfraRed) guidance section of the AGM-65 air-to-ground missile (depending on the variant of the Maverick). In the case of the Maverick, it should be pointed out that these guidance sections are interchangeable.

CATMS and TACTS pods are typical loadouts for Red Flag LFEs (Large Force Exercises).

F15AggressorTaxying12oClock
An aggressor F-15A shows it’s typical Red Flag load of the TACTS pod (left) and CATM-9M (right).

 

This aggressor F-16C shows the typical loadout of a TACTS pod on the nearest wingtip and a CATM-9M on the far wingtip. Centerine is an electronics pod used to electronic simulate threat aircraft to radars.
This aggressor F-16C shows the typical loadout of a TACTS pod on the nearest wingtip and a CATM-9M on the far wingtip. Centerine is an electronics pod used to electronic simulate threat aircraft to radars.

CATMs are another tool of the trade used by US forces to train for war.