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  • Military Acronyms from A to Z

    Military Acronyms from A to Z

    Acronyms are a part of the military existence - we attempt to assign the what's what to the what's that.





    LETTER GROUP A


    AA - Air-to-Air
    AA - Anti-Aircraft
    AAA - Anti-Aircraft Artillery
    AAC - Army Air Corps (UK)
    AAM - Air-to-Air Missile
    AAMG - Anti-Aircraft Machine Gun
    AAV - Amphibious Assault Vehicle
    AAAV - Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle
    AAV - Amphibious Assault Vehicle
    AAV - Assault Amphibian Vehicle
    AAVC - Assault Amphibian Vehicle, Command
    ABM - Anti-Ballistic Missile
    ACC - Air Combat Command (USAF)
    ACM - Air Combat Maneuvering
    ACMI - Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation
    ACMR - Air Combat Maneuvering Range
    ACP - Armored Command Post
    ADATS - Air Defense Anti-Tank System
    ADF - Australian Defense Force
    ADIZ - Air Defense Identification Zone
    AEW - Airborne Early Warning
    AEW&C - Airborne Early Warning and Control
    AEV - Armored Engineer Vehicle
    AF - Air Force
    AFB - Air Force Base (US)
    AFD - Automatic Feeding Device
    AFMC - Air Force Material Command (USAF)
    AFV - Armored Fighting Vehicle
    AIFV - Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle
    ALBM - Air Launched Ballistic Missile
    ALCM - Air Launched Cruise Missile
    AMC - Air Mobility Command (USAF)
    AMR - Anti-Material Rifle
    AMRAAM - Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (Raytheon AIM-120)
    AMX - Atelier De Construction d'Issy-les-Moulineaux (France)
    ANG - Air National Guard (US)
    ANZAC - Australia New and Zealand Army Corps
    ANZUS - Australia New Zealand United States Security Treaty
    AP - Armor Piercing
    APAM - Anti-Personnel, Anti-Material
    APC - Armored Personnel Carrier
    APDS - Armor-Piercing, Discarding Sabot
    APDS-T - Armor-Piercing, Discarding Sabot (Tracer)
    APFSDS - Armor Piercing, Fin-Stabilized, Discarding Sabot
    APHE - Armor Piercing, High-Explosive
    APU - Auxiliary Power Unit
    AP-T - Armor Piercing - Tracer
    ARM - Anti-Radiation Missile
    ARRV - Armored Repair and Recovery Vehicle
    ARV - Armored Recovery Vehicle
    ASCOD - Austrian-Spanish Co-Operative Development
    ASLAV - AUstralian Light Armored Vehicle
    AS - Anti-Ship
    ASM - Air-to-Surface Missile
    ASM - Anti-Ship Missle
    ASPJ - Airborne Self-Protection Jammer
    ASRAAM - Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile
    AST - Air Staff Target
    ASTOVL - Advanced Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing
    ASV - Anti-Surface Vessel
    ASW - Anti-Submarine Warfare
    ASuW - Anti-Surface Warfare
    AT - Anti-Tank
    ATR - Anti-Tank Rifle
    ATGW - Anti-Tank Guided Weapon
    ATBM - Anti-Tactical Ballistic Missile
    AUW - All-Up Weight
    AVLB - Armored Vehicle-Launched Bridge
    AVRE - Armored Vehicle Royal Engineers (UK)
    AWACS - Airborne WArning and Control System (Boeing E-3 Sentry)
    AWOL - Absent WithOut Leave


    LETTER GROUP B


    B - Bomber designation (as in B-52 Stratofortress)
    BAe - British Aerospace, now BAe Systems
    bhp - Brake Horsepower
    BVR - Beyond Visual Range


    LETTER GROUP C


    C2 - Command and Control
    C3 - Command, Control and Communications
    C3I - Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence
    CAF - Canadian Armed Forces, now Canadian Forces
    CAP - Combat Air Patrol
    CAS - Close-Air Support
    CAWS - Close Assault Weapon System
    CC - Command & Control
    CCV - Command & Control Vehicle
    CDU - Control Display Unit
    CEA - Circular Error Average
    CEP - Circular Error Probable
    CEV - Combat Engineer/Engineering Vehicle
    CF - Canadian Forces
    CFE - Conventional Forces Europe
    CFV - Cavalry Fighting Vehicle
    CIWS Close-In Weapon System (US)
    CO - Commanding Officer
    COIN - Counter-Insurgency
    COL - Colonel
    COTAC - Conduite de Tir Automatique pour Char (France)
    CPL - Corporal
    CPT - Captain
    CRARRV - Challenger Armored Repair and Recovery Vehicle
    CRT - Cathode Ray Tube
    CSB - Close-Support Bridge
    CV - Conventionally Powered aircraft carrier (USN)
    CV - Combat Vehicle
    CVN - Attack aircraft carrier, nuclear powered (US)
    CVRT - Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance Tracked


    LETTER GROUP D


    DEW - Distant Early Warning (US)
    DFC - Distinguished Flying Cross: Air Force decoration
    DGPS - Differential GPS
    DoD - Department of Defense (United States)
    DMR - Designated Marksman Rifle
    DP - Dual-Purpose
    DVI - Direct Voice Input
    DZ - Drop Zone


    LETTER GROUP E


    E - Enlisted
    EAAK - Enhanced Applique Armor Kit (France)
    ECCM - Electronic Counter CounterMeasures
    ECM - Electronic CounterMeasures
    ECR - Electronic Combat Reconnaissance, SEAD Panavia Tornado variant
    EFIS - Electronic Flight Instrument System
    ELINT - ELectronic INTelligence
    END (Endurance) - Length of time an aircraft's fuel load will permit it to stay airborne.
    EOD - Explosive Ordnance Disposal
    EPG - Engin Principal du Genie (France)
    ERA - Explosive Reactive Armor
    eshp - Equivalent Shaft Horsepower
    ESM - Electronic Support Measures
    EW - Electronic Warfare
    EW - Electronic Warning
    EWA - Electronic Warfare Aircraft


    LETTER GROUP F


    F - Fighter designation (as in F-15 Eagle)
    FA - Frontal Aviation
    FAA - Fleet Air Arm (UK, Australia, Argentina)
    FAB - Forca Aerea Brasileira , Brazilian Air Force
    FAC - Forward Air Control / Forward Air Controller
    FAE - Fuel Air Explosives
    FAR - Force d'Action Rapide (France)
    FAV - Fast Attack Vehicle
    FBW - Fly-by-Wire
    FCS - Fire Control System
    FEBA - Foward Edge of Battle Area
    FLIR - Forward Looking Infrared
    FIFV - Future Infantry Fighting Vehicle
    FBW (Fly-by-Wire) - Flight control systems with electric signaling
    FFAR - Folding-Fin Aerial Rocket
    FMC - Food Machinery Corporation
    FMS - Foreign Military Sale (US)
    FN - Fabrique National (Belgium)
    FUBAR - 'Fouled' Up Beyond All Recognition
    FV - Fighting Vehicle


    LETTER GROUP G


    g - Measure of the force of gravity
    GAM - GPS-Aided Munition
    GCI - Ground-Controlled Intercept
    GCT - Grande Cadence de Tir (France)
    GE - General Electric
    GIAT - Groupement Industriel des Armements Terrestres (France)
    GP - General Purpose
    GPMG - General Purpose Machine Gun
    GPS - Global Positioning System
    gr - Grams (or Grain if talking about small arms ammunition)
    GTK - Gepanzertes Transport-Kraftfahzeug (Germany)


    LETTER GROUP H


    HE - High Explosive
    HEAP - High Explosive, Anti-Personnel
    HEAT - High Explosive, Anti-Tank
    HEAT-FS - High Explosive, Anti-Tank - Fin Stabilized
    HMG - Heavy Machine u Gun
    HE-FRAG - High Explosive-Fragmentation
    HEI - High Explosive Incendiary
    HEMAT - Heavy Expanded Mobility Ammunition Trailer
    HEP - High Explosive Plastic
    HESH - High Explosive Squash Head
    HE-T - High Explosive - Tracer
    HF - Hi Frequency (Between 3 to 30 MHz)
    HOTAS - Hands-On-Throttle-and-Stick
    HOTCC - Hands on Throttle, Collective and Cyclic
    HMS - Her Majesty's Service (UK/Australia)
    HP - HorsePower
    HQ - Headquarter(s)
    HR - Hour(s)
    HUD - Head Up Display
    HUDWAC - Head Up Display Weapon Aiming Computer
    HUDWASS - Head Up Display Weapon Aiming SubSystem
    HVAP - High Velocity Armor Piercing
    HVM - High Velocity Missile


    LETTER GROUP I


    IADS - Integrated Air Defense System
    IAS - Indicated Airspeed Shown
    ICBM - InterContinental Ballistic Missile
    IFF - Identification Friend or Foe
    IFV - Infantry Fighting Vehicle
    IGE - In Ground Effect
    ILS - Instrument Landing System
    IMP - Imperial (UK)
    INS - Inertial Navigation System
    IOC - Initial Operational Capability
    IR - InfraRed
    IRAN - Inspect and Repair as Necessary
    IRBM - Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile
    IRCM - Infra-Red CounterMeasure
    ISA - International Standard Atmosphere
    IRS - Inertial Reference System
    IRST - Infra-Red Search-and-Track


    LETTER GROUP J


    JASDF - Japan Air Self Defense Force
    JAST - Joint Advanced Strike Technology
    JDAM - Joint Direct Attack Munition
    JGSDF - Japan Ground Self Defense Force
    JMSDF - Japan Maritime Self Defense Force
    Joint-STARS - Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Grumman E-8)
    JSOW - Joint Stand-Off Weapon
    JSF - Joint Strike Fighter
    JTIDS - Joint Tactical Information Distribution System


    LETTER GROUP K


    KCAS - Calibrated AirSpeed (in Knots)
    KG - Kilograms
    KIAS - Knots Indicated AirSpeed
    KM - KiloMeter
    KM/H - KiloMeters per Hour
    kN - KiloNewton measure of force (1,000 Newtons : 1 Newton = 0.2248 lbs of force)
    Knot - Aviation and maritime unit of velocity
    KT - Kiloton (equivalent explosive force of 1,000 tons of TNT)
    Kt/Kts - Knot(s)
    KTAS - True AirSpeed in Knots
    kW - KiloWatt


    LETTER GROUP L


    LABS - Low Altitude Bombing System
    LAMPS - Light Airborne MultiPurpose System
    LANTIRN - Low Altitude Targeting InfraRed for Night
    LAPES - Low Altitude Parachute Extraction System
    LARS - Light Artillery Rocket System
    LAV - Light Assault Vehicle
    LAV - Light Armored Vehicle
    lb - Pound(s)
    LCD - Liquid Crystal Display
    LCS - Littoral Combat Ship
    LF - Low Frequency (30 to 300 kHz)
    LGB - Laser-Guided Bomb
    LLLTV - Low Light Level Television
    LO - Low Observables
    LMG - Light Machine Gun
    LPT - Low Profile Turret
    LRMP - Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft
    LT - Lieutenant
    LT - Light Tank
    LVTP - Landing Vehicle Tracked Personnel
    LZ - Landing Zone


    LETTER GROUP M


    MACH - Measure of Airspeed (Mach 1 = 1,223 kph/760 mph at sea level)
    MAC - Military Airlift Command; Now AMC (USAF)
    MAD - Magnetic Anomaly Detector
    MAJ - Major
    MAP - Military Assistance Program
    MAW - Marine Air Wing (USMC)
    MBT - Main Battle Tank
    MCM - Mine Countermeasures
    MFD - Multi-Function Display
    MG - Machine Gun
    MMG - Medium Machine Gun
    MILAN - Missile d'Infanterie Leger Anti-Char (France)
    min - Minute(s)
    MLU - Mid-Life Update
    MLRS - Multiple Launch Rocket System
    mm - Millimeter
    MoD - Ministry of Defense
    MP - Machine Pistol
    MPA - Maritime Patrol Aircraft
    MPC - Multi-Purpose Carrier
    MR - Maritime Reconnaissance
    MRAV - Multi-Role Armored Vehicle
    MRBM - Medium Range Ballistic Missile
    MSIP - Multi-Stage Improvement Program
    MTOW - Maximum Take-Off Weight


    LETTER GROUP N


    NAS - Naval Air Station
    NASA - National Aeronautics & Space Administration
    NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization
    Nautical Mile - Measurement of distance
    NBC - Nuclear, Biological and Chemical
    nm - Nautical Mile
    NOE - Nap of the Earth


    LETTER GROUP O


    O - Officer
    OCU - Operational Conversion Unit
    OGE - Out of Ground Effect
    OTH-B - Over-The-Horizon Backscatter radar
    OTHR - Over-The-Horizon Radar
    OTHT - Over-The-Horizon Targeting


    LETTER GROUP P


    PACAF - Pacific Air Force (USAF)
    PFC - Private First Class
    PGM - Precision-Guided Munition
    PID - Passive IDentification
    PNGDF - Papua New Guinea Defense Force
    PTG - Poseur de Travures du Genie (France)
    PVT - Private


    LETTER GROUP Q


    (None available)


    LETTER GROUP R


    R&D - Research & Development
    RAF - Royal Air Force (UK)
    RAAF - Royal Australian Air Force
    RAAWS - Radar Altimeter and Altitude Warning System
    RAM - Radar Absorbing Material
    RAN - Royal Australian Navy
    RAST - Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse system
    RATO - Rocket-Assisted Take-Off
    RCS - Radar Cross-Section
    Recce - Reconnaissance
    RISE - Reliability Improved Selected Equipment
    RMAF - Royal Malaysian Air Force
    RMG - Ranging Machine Gun
    RN - Royal Navy (UK)
    RNAS - Royal Navy Air Service
    RNeAF - Royal Netherlands Air Force
    RNZAF - Royal New Zealand Air Force
    ROE - Rules of Engagement
    RoKAF - Republic of Korea Air Force (South Korea)
    RP - Rocket Propelled
    RPG - Rocket Propelled Grenade
    RPM - Revolutions Per Minute (or Rounds Per Minute if dealing with small arms)
    RPV - Remotely-Piloted Vehicle
    RR - Rolls Royce
    RSAF - Republic of Singapore Air Force
    RSAF - Royal Saudi Air Force
    RTC - Royal Tank Corps
    RWR - Radar Warning Receiver


    LETTER GROUP S


    SA - Surface-to-Air
    SAAF - South African Air Force
    SAC - Strategic Air Command (USAF - merged into ACC)
    SAM - Surface-to-Air Missile
    SAR - Search And Rescue
    SAS - Special Air Service
    SEAD - Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses
    SENSO - SENSor Operator
    SEP - Systems Enhancement Package
    SEALs - SEA, Air and Land (USN)
    SGT - Sergeant
    shp - Shaft HorsePower (usually in reference to a helicopter's engine output power)
    Sigint - SIGnals INTelligence
    SLAP - Saboted Light Armor Penetrator
    SLAR - Side-Looking Airborne Radar
    SLEP - Service Life Extension Program
    SOCOM - Special Operations COMmand
    SOLRS - Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron (USAF)
    SMG - SubMachine Gun
    SNAFU - Situation Normal, All 'Fouled' Up
    SP - Specialist (when referred in a soldiers rank)
    SP - Self-Propelled
    SPG - Self-Propelled Gun
    SPAAG - Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun
    SSM - Surface-to-Surface Missile
    SRAM - Short Range Attack Missile
    STO - Short Take-Off
    STOL - Short Take-Off and Landing
    STOVL - Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing


    LETTER GROUP T


    TAC - Tactical Air Command (USAF, now merged into ACC)
    TACAMO - TAke Charge And Move Out
    TACAN - TACtical Aid to Navigation
    TACCO - TACtical COordinator
    TANS - Tactical Air Navigation System
    TBO - Time Between Overhauls
    TBT - Tank Bridge Transporter
    TFR - Terrain Following Radar
    TIALD - Target Identification Airborne Laser Designation
    TNI-AU - Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Udara, Indonesian Air Force
    TOW - Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire-Guided
    TSSAM - Tri-Service Stand-off Attack Missile
    TRV - Tank Recovery Vehicle


    LETTER GROUP U


    UAV - Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
    UCAV - Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle
    UHF - Ultra-High Fequency (300MHz to 3 GHz)
    UN - United Nations
    USCG = United States Coast Guard
    USAAC - United States Army Air Corps
    USAAF - United States Army Air Forces
    USAF - United States Air Force
    USAFE - United States Air Force in Europe
    USMC - United States Marine Corps
    USN - United States Navy


    LETTER GROUP V


    VDU - Visual Display Unit
    VHF - Very High Frequency (3 to 300MHz)
    V/STOL - Vertical or Short Take-Off and Landing
    VSEL - Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering LTD
    VTAS - Voice, Throttle and Stick
    VTOL - Vertical Take-Off and Landing


    LETTER GROUP W


    WO - Warrant Officer
    WSO - Weapon System Operator (or Weapon System Officer)


    LETTER GROUP X


    (None available)


    LETTER GROUP Y


    (None available)


    LETTER GROUP Z


    (None available)