South African Air Force CADS Cartridge

I picked this fired cADS cartridge up at the UK ECRA Meeting. It is not for my collection, but for a friend who collects any militaria connected to the South African Border War.

I would think that finding out exactly what this was for would be near impossible. However, as it is stamped “M101A1”, it may have a US equivalent.

This is an example of something that is probably quite “rare” but not of much interest to many collectors.

The case head diameter is 30mm, case length 34mm, calibre roughly 27.5mm

Here are a couple of photos: (Sorry for the poor quality photos, they were taken with a phone camera)

Ink stamping ings on case are “CART EJECTOR REL UNIT M101A1 087 A 83”

The headstamp is: “M101A1 A 82 AE”

Thanks for any more info if anyone has any.

Falcon–It looks a lot like what was called an ARD-863 cartridge in the U.S. Air Force. They were used on the F-4 Phantom, as well as many other types of aircraft. They were used in the Bomb Release System. They were inserted into a chamber that was connected to a piston. When they were fired, they produced high pressure gas that forced the piston down against the bomb to kick it down out of the slip stream of the jet. Without it a 750lb bomb could float, unattached and armed under the aircraft until it slowed down for landing, at which point it would fall away and land where it should not. They were used in TER’s (Triple Ejector Rack’s) holding 3 bombs and MER’s (Multiple Ejector Rack’s) holding 6 bombs.

This is an ERU (Ejector Release Unit) cartidge.
Another US equivalent could be the CCU-44/B.
Not often collected but not uncommon.

Falcon–Here is a link with technical details of the ARD-863 cartridge. … RD863.html

I have a near identical item , search for CERU 201 mk2.
I believe my example is a British item made by NEC.


I don’t think you need to apologize for those pictures. For photos, especially close ups, taken hand held with a cell-phone camera, I personally think they are remarkable good. The headstamp picture, especially, is of a quality that could even be published in a book.

Good work, my friend.

Thanks for the replies.

When I say this is probably not common, I am referring specifically to a South African made one being in the UK. The spent cases of other types of these are not uncommon.

Although the designation is US style, this cartridge probably has a French Equivalent as South Africa used Mirage Fighters.


That is an awesome reference page.

Is that a “site” that I can access? I have a couple dozen CADS that I would love to ID with data like that.



I hit the “RETURN” in blue in the upper right of the page Ron posted. A couple of “RETURNS” will bring you to an index. “GROUP 50” should be of interest to you…Lots of nice things!

Best Regards,