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NATO reporting name

NATO reporting names are code names for military equipment of the Eastern Bloc (Soviet Union and other nations of the Warsaw Pact) and China. They provide unambiguous and easily understood English language words in a uniform manner in place of the original designations — which may have been unknown (to the West) at the time or easily confused codes.[1]

NATO maintains lists of these names. The assignment of the names for the Russian and Chinese aircraft was once managed by the five-nation Air Standardization Coordinating Committee (ASCC) (now called the Air and Space Interoperability Council, or ASIC, which includes representatives of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States). This is no longer the case.

Contents

  • U.S. variations 1
  • Soviet nicknames 2
  • Nomenclature 3
  • Lists of NATO reporting names 4
    • Missiles 4.1
    • Aircraft 4.2
    • Submarines 4.3
    • Equipment 4.4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

U.S. variations

The United States Department of Defense expands on the NATO reporting names in some cases. NATO refers to surface-to-air missile systems mounted on ships or submarines with the same names as the corresponding land-based systems, but the US DoD assigns a different series of numbers with a different suffix (i.e., SA-N- vs. SA-) for these systems. The names are kept the same as a convenience. Where there is no corresponding system, a new name is devised. Some US DoD nomenclature is included in the following pages and is noted as such.

Soviet nicknames

The Soviet Union did not always assign official “popular names” to its aircraft, although unofficial nicknames were common as in any air force. Generally the Soviet pilots have not used the NATO names, preferring a different Russian nickname. An exception was that Soviet airmen appreciated the MiG-29's codename 'Fulcrum' as an indication of its pivotal role in Soviet air defence.[2] Hundreds of names had to be chosen, so the names covered a wide variety of subjects and include some obscure words.

Nomenclature

To reduce the risk of confusion, unusual or made-up names were allocated, the idea being that the names chosen would be unlikely to occur in normal conversation, and be easier to memorise. For fixed-wing aircraft, single-syllable words denoted piston-prop and turboprop, while multiple-syllable words denoted jets. Bombers had names starting with the letter B and names like Badger (2 syllables: jet), Bear (single syllable: propeller), and Blackjack were used. “Frogfoot,” the reporting name for the Sukhoi Su-25, references the aircraft’s close air support role. Transports had names starting with C (as in “cargo”), which resulted in names like Condor or Candid.

A fictional NATO reporting name "Firefox" for a fictional "MiG-31" appears in the novel Firefox and subsequent movie. The real MiG-31 from 1979 was assigned the reporting name "Foxhound".

Lists of NATO reporting names

Missiles

The initial letter of the name indicated the use of that equipment.

Aircraft

The first letter indicates the type of aircraft, like Bear for a bomber aircraft, or Fulcrum for a fighter aircraft.

For fixed-wing aircraft, one syllable names were used for propeller-powered craft (turboprops included), while two-syllable names indicated jet engines.

Submarines

Equipment

References

  1. ^ "NATO Code Names for Submarines and Ships: Submarine Classes / Reporting Name". Art and Aerospace Page. Univ. of Michigan, UMCC / AIS. Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  2. ^ Zuyev, A. and Malcolm McConnell. Fulcrum: A Top Gun Pilot’s Escape From the Soviet Empire. Warner Books, 1993. ISBN 0-446-36498-3.

External links

  • External list about NATO reporting names
  • Aerospace Web
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