Types of Guided Missiles
Guided missiles are divided into two typesservice
missiles and nonservice missiles.
SERVICE MISSILES. These missiles are
generally referred to as tactical missiles. Service
missiles are fully operational and fully explosive loaded
rounds, designed for service use in time of war.
NONSERVICE MISSILES. These include all
types of missiles other than service or tactical. They are
subdivided as captive air training missiles (CATMs),
dummy air training missiles (DATMs), special air
training missiles (NATMs), and practice guided
Some practice and training missiles are used for
They contain live propulsion and
guidance systems with inert loaded warheads. They are
fitted with pyrotechnic fuze indicator signals and/or
tracking flares that give a visual indication of
missile/target impact. These missiles can also be fitted
with a telemetry-type warhead, which transmits
electronic signals to a monitoring station. The
monitoring station displays the missiles in-flight
performance and missile/target hit. Some types of
exercise missiles contain explosive-destruct charges so
the missiles destroy themselves in flight. These
explosive-destruct charges, when installed, are used as
a safety measure so the missile does not travel beyond
the established target range.
The CATMs are used for pilot training in aerial
target acquisition and aircraft controls/displays. They
have both tactical and training components.
The DATMs are ground training missiles used to
train ground personnel in missile assembly/
disassembly, uploading/downloading, and handling
The NATMs are used for pilot training during fleet
weapon training exercises.
The PGWs are used for stowage procedures and
techniques. All components are completely inert.
Service missiles are fired as practice or training
missiles when approved by proper authority. Normally,
approval is restricted to missiles that are obsolete or to
missiles that have exceeded their normal service life.
Guided missiles used in naval aviation include
air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles. Air-to-air guided
missiles are fired by one aircraft against another aircraft.
Air-to-surface guided missiles are fired from an aircraft
against a target on the land or water surface.
For further information on the classification of
guided missiles, you should refer to United States Navy
Ammunition Historical and Functional Data,NAVSEA
SW010-AB-GTP-010, and Identification of
Ammunition, NAVSEA SW010-AF-ORD-010.
The Department of Defense established a missile
and rocket designation sequence. The basic designation
(table 3-1) of every guided missile are letters, which are
in sequence. The sequence indicates the following:
1. The environment from which the vehicle is
2. The primary mission of the missile
3. The type of vehicle
Examples of guided missile designators common to
the Aviation Ordnanceman are as follows:
Air-launched, surface-attack, guided
Air-launched, intercept-aerial, guided
Air-launched, training guided missile
Ship-launched, intercept-aerial, guided
The basic designator is followed by a design
number. In turn, the number may be followed by
consecutive letters, which show a modification. For
example, the designation of AGM-45C means the
missile is an air-launched (A), surface-attack (G),
missile (M), forty-fifth missile design (45), third
In addition, most guided missiles are given popular
names, such as Sparrow, Sidewinder, Harpoon, and
Shrike. These names are retained regardless of
subsequent modifications to the original missile.
The external surfaces of all Navy guided missiles,
except radome and antenna surfaces, are painted white.
The color white has no identification color-coding
significance when used on guided missiles.
There are three significant color codes used on
guided missiles and their components-yellow, brown,