Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
NATO reporting name
NATO reporting names were code names for Soviet and Chinese equipment. These were created to facilitate communications between military units speaking different languages. Also, in most cases the actual Soviet names for these items were not known or did not exist, and in many cases were not known for many years. NATO maintained lists of these names. Much of that equipment can still be found in use around the world, and NATO reporting names are still used to refer to that equipment.
The initial letter of the name indicated something about the use of that equipment; for example, fighter airplanes were assigned names beginning with the letter "F," bomber airplanes with "B," helicopters' with "H," surface-to-surface missiles' names with "S," and surface-to-air missiles' names with "G." For airplanes, names with one syllable are used for propeller engines while two syllable names indicate jet engines. Perhaps the most famous reporting name refers to the SS-1 ballistic missile, the "Scud."
The United States Department of Defense expands on the NATO reporting names in some cases. For example, whereas NATO refers to surface-to-air missile systems mounted on ships or submarines with the same names as the corresponding land-based systems, despite some minor differences (and in one case, lack of corresponding systems at all, although this was not realized for some time), the US DoD assigns a different series of numbers with a different prefix (SA-N vs. SA) for these systems. The names, however, are kept the same as the land-based system as a convenience. In the case 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.
- Air-to-Air Missiles
- Air-to-Surface Missiles
- Anti-Tank Missiles
- Surface-to-Air Missiles (including ship- and submarine-launched)
- Surface-to-Surface Missiles (including ship- and submarine-launched)
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