Copyright, Terms, Conditions
Last updated: 14 April 2014
(for update details, see here)
U.S. Military Aviation Designation Systems
[Aeronautical and Support Equipment]
[Air Force Projects]
[Miscellaneous] [Links] [Discussion Group] [What's New?]
Copyright © 2000-2014 Andreas Parsch
This site is devoted to the various systems used by the U.S. military aviation to designate all types of equipment. I try to provide thorough explanations of the designation systems, while avoiding all the "red tape" included in the official standards documents, which tends to obscure the details relevant to the aviation enthusiast. For those who want to go all the way, I give references to the official DOD documentation (some of which is available on the web) wherever possible.
For most designation systems, I will also provide listings of assigned designations. These listings are intended to be as complete and accurate as possible, but there are still many gaps and (most probably) errors. I also list my main sources of information at the end of each individual article, but in general, a lot of my data is from uncountable websites. If possible, however, I have relied on printed publications and "first-hand" (i.e. DoD, USAF, etc.) websites.
This site includes several articles, which explain several aspects of the current U.S. Department of Defense aircraft designation system in great detail. However, I do not attempt to cover earlier U.S. military aircraft designation systems, nor do I host a complete listing of assigned designations. All this can already be found on the World Wide Web, and I have referenced a few good sources in the Aircraft section on my Link page. Specifically, for a summary of historical designation systems since 1919 you may refer to the Designation Systems FAQ (© by Emmanuel Gustin), and for listings of allocated designations (in current and historical systems) you may refer to U.S. Military Aircraft Designations 1911-2004 (© by Andrew Chorney) or U.S. Military Aircraft and Weapon Designations (© by Derek O. Bridges).
Early (Pre-1963) Missiles And Drones
Current Unmanned Aerospace Vehicles
Aircraft And Missile Engines
Electronics And Communications Equipment
Aeronautical and Support Equipment
(including Non-Nuclear Aircraft Ordnance)
Air Force Projects
Code Names for U.S. Military Projects and Operations
Miscellaneous Designation Systems
Discussion Group & Mailing List
For comments and suggestions, send e-mail to: Andreas Parsch