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Military Aircraft Designation System

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posted on Mar, 26 2004 @ 12:44 AM
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I ran across a thread about military aircraft designations, and it seemed there was some confusion as to how and why aircraft got their names. So this is for anyone who is interested in the system used to name military aircraft.

The link at the bottom is one of the better sites I found on the subject, and it goes into much greater detail than this post.



VEHICLE TYPE:

It indicates the type of vehicle at hand, e.g. helicopter, V/STOL. For normal aircraft, this designator is NOT used. (Example: the SH-2F uses the H to indicate it is a helicopter. The F-16A is a regular aircraft, and does not have a vehicle type designator).

G - Glider
H - Helicopter
S - Spaceplane
V - VTOL/STOL
Z - Lighter than air

BASIC MISSION:

This is the most important designator. It indicates the primary design task of the aircraft.

A - Attack
B - Bomber
C - Cargo/ transport
E - Special electronic installation
F - Fighter
O - Observation
P - Patrol
R - Reconnaissance:
ER - Electronic Reconnaissance
SR - Strategic Reconnaissance
TR - Tactical Reconnaissance
S - Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
T - Trainer
U - Utility
X - Research

MODIFIED MISSION:

Indicates the vehicle has been modified for a specific mission. Only one modified mission symbol is allowed. The modified mission symbol precedes the basic mission symbol.

A - Attack
C - Cargo/ transport
D - Drone control
E - Special electronic installation
F - Fighter
H - Search and Rescue (SAR)
K - Tanker (from Kerosine tanker)
L - Cold weather
M - Multi-mission
O - Observation
P - Patrol
Q - Drone
R - Reconnaissance
S - Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
T - Trainer
U - Utility
V - Staff/ VIP transport
W - Weather

STATUS PREFIX:

Indicates that the vehicle is not standard due to tests, modifications, or experiments. This prefix precedes the modified and basic mission symbols.

G - Permanently grounded
J - Special test temporary
N - Special test permanent
X - Experimental
Y - Prototype
Z - Planning

DESIGN NUMBER:

Supposedly in sequential order, it indicates the model aircraft within the basic mission category. For example, C-20D, C-21A, C-22A, C-23B, EC-24A, VC-25A, C-26A, C-27A, etc. Obviously, the order is not always sequential, e.g. F-23, F-111, F-117.

SERIES:

Indicates alphabetically major modifications to the original design, which is indicated by the A. For example, the F-16B is a major modification of the F-16A. I and O are skipped.

More detailed information here:
U.S. Military Designation Systems




posted on Mar, 26 2004 @ 05:20 PM
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whats the british version of this or is it the same?



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