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  • United States Navy Ship Hull Classifications

    United States Navy Ship Hull Classifications

    The United States Navy classifies each of its surface and underwater warships through distinct identifiers.

    The following is a list of current, officially-recognized ship hull designations utilized by the United States Navy as provided through the Naval Ship Register.

    The classifications are generally representative of a given ship's role such as a Patrol Craft being "PC". Others, such as a Dock Landing Ship, are written as "LSD" and Tank Landing Ship follows as "LST". Ships like Destroyers and Frigates carry a double-letter identifier as in "DD" and "FF" respectively. To mark the change-over to nuclear-powered propulsion (from conventional power), warship types have introduced "N". For example Aircraft Carrier (originally marked as "CV") became "CVN". Nuclear-powered submarines evolved from the "SS" classification to "SSN".

    The hull classification precedes the hull pennant number as in USS Seawolf (SSN-21).

    ACS = Auxiliary Crane Ship
    AD = Destroyer Tender
    AE = Ammunition Ship
    AFS = Combat Shore Ship
    AG = Auxiliary General
    AGDS = Deep Submergence Support Ship
    AGER = Environmental Research Ship
    AGF = Miscellaneous Command Ship
    AGM = Missile Range Instrumentation Ship
    AGOR = Oceanographic Research Ship
    AGOS = Ocean Surveillance Ship
    AGS = Survey Ship
    AGSS = Auxiliary Research Submarine
    AH = Hospital Ship
    AK = Cargo Ship
    AKR = Vehicle Cargo Ship
    AO = Oiler
    AOE = Fast Combat Support Ship
    AOG = Gasoline Tanker
    AOR = Replenishment Oiler
    AOT = Transport Oiler
    AP = Transport
    APD = High Speed Transport
    AR = Repair Ship
    ARC = Cable Repair Ship
    AS = Submarine Tender
    ARS = Salvage Ship
    ASR = Submarine Rescue Ship
    ATA = Auxiliary Ocean Tug
    ATF = Fleet Ocean Tug
    ATS = Salvage and Rescue Ship
    AVB = Aviation Logistics Support Ship
    AVT = Auxiliary Aircraft Landing Training Ship
    BB = Battleship
    CA = Gun Cruiser
    CG = Guided Missile Cruiser (conventional propulsion)
    CGN = Guided Missile Cruiser (nuclear propulsion)
    CV = Aircraft Carrier (conventional propulsion)
    CVN = Aircraft Carrier (nuclear propulsion)
    DD = Destroyer
    DDG = Guided Missile Destroyer
    FF = Frigate
    FFG = Guided Missile Frigate
    FFR = Radar Picket Frigate
    FFT = Frigate For Training Reserve Units
    LHA = Amphibious Assault Ship (with general purpose capabilities)
    LHD = Amphibious Assault Ship (with multi-purpose capabilities)
    LPD = Amphibious Transport Dock
    LPH = Amphibious Transport Ship (with support for helicopters)
    LKA = Amphibious Cargo Ship
    LSD = Dock Landing Ship
    LSM = Medium Landing Ship
    LST = Tank Landing Ship
    LCC = Amphibious Command Ship
    MSO = Minesweeper, Ocean
    MCM = Mine Countermeasures Ship
    MCS = Mine Countermeasures Support Ship
    MHC = Minehunter, Coastal
    PC = Patrol Craft
    PG = Patrol Combatant
    PBL = Patrol Boat, Light
    PBR = Patrol Boat, Riverine
    PCF = Patrol Craft, Fast (Swift Boat)
    PTF = Patrol Boat, Fast
    SS = Submarine (conventional propulsion)
    SSN = Submarine (nuclear propulsion)
    SSBN = Ballistic Missile Submarine (nuclear propulsion)