18 Agustus 2016
JDAM Captive Aircrew Training System (JCATS) (photo : Shephard)
Australia is using the Boeing JDAM Captive Aircrew Training System (JCATS) to simulate carriage and usage of the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) on its fleet of F/A-18 Hornets.
Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Hornets taking part in Exercise Pitch Black 2016 in northern Australia were observed carrying the JCATS during daily sorties.
According to RAAF ground crew that Shephard spoke to at the exercise, the JCATS simulates operation of the JDAM during training missions, thus allowing pilots to fly realistic ground attack mission scenarios that require the use of JDAMs.
Using the JCATS also allows the RAAF to save on manpower and the effort previously required to fabricate their own captive JDAM rounds, each of which can only be used for a limited number of flights.
The JCATS has been acquired by Australia as part of Joint Project 3027 JDAM Enhancement, which aims to address capability gaps identified during original acquisition of the JDAM, and lessons learned from RAAF operations in the Middle East, by providing a capability to attack moving targets and to reduce collateral damage.
RAAF Hornets were also observed using Lockheed Martin’s Enhanced Laser Guided Training Round (ELGTR) to simulate Paveway laser-guided bombs during training exercises.