NATO Reporting Names for Soviet Aircraft

By Bob Delaney

   The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), formed in 1949, originally employed the United States Air Force’s type number system for identifying Soviet aircraft and missiles whose true designations were unknown outside of the Soviet Union. This system, created in 1947, proved unwieldy in use and hard to understand on poor quality voice transmissions.

   The United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand formed the Air Standards Coordinating Committee (ASCC) in 1954. They devised a system of code names for Soviet aircraft, which followed a practice adopted by Allied nations in 1942 for designating Japanese aircraft. As in the earlier system, the ASCC’s system used names that were easy to remember and could be easily understood over poor voice radio links. Soviet aircraft and missiles were assigned reporting names based on its primary mission:

A         Air-to-Air Missile (AAM)

B          Bomber

C          Cargo transport and civil aircraft

F          Fighter

G          Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM)

H         Helicopter

K         Air-to-Surface Missile (ASM)

M         Miscellaneous aircraft (including trainers, flying boats, and electronic warfare platforms)

S          Surface-to-Surface Missile (SSM)

   Propeller-driven fixed-wing aircraft (bombers, cargo aircraft, and fighters) were given one syllable names, while jet-powered fixed-wing aircraft received two syllable names. Helicopters were assigned either one syllable or two syllable names. Additionally, major variants of each design added a suffix letter to the reporting name. For example, the seventh variant of the Tupolev Tu-16 bomber was called the Badger-G. Missiles were given designations based on their role along with their reporting names.

A                                                         Air-to-Air Missiles

Missile                                                  ASCC Number/Name

RS-1U, RS-2US,                                   AA-1 Alkali

R-8M, T, R-98RM/TM                          AA-3 Anab

(K-8M1)                                               AA-4 Awl

R-3S, U, R, R-13M                                AA-2 Atoll

R-4R, 4T                                              AA-5 Ash

R-23R, 23T, R-24R/T (R-23MR/MT)     AA-7 Apex

R-27R, R1, T, AE, EM, TE, RE              AA-10 Alamo

R-33E, 33T                                           AA-9 Amos

R-40R, 40T                                           AA-6 Acrid

R-60T, 60M, 60R                                  AA-8 Aphid

R-73A, 73M                                          AA-11 Archer

R-77                                                     AA-12

 

B                                                         Bombers

Aircraft                                                            ASCC Name

Douglas A-20 Havoc*                           Box

Ilyushin Il-2                                           Bark

Ilyushin Il-4                                           Bob

Ilyushin Il-10                                         Beast

Ilyushin Il-28                                         Beagle (originally Butcher)

Ilyushin Il-40                                         Brawny

Ilyushin Il-54                                         Blowlamp

Myasishchev M-4/M-6/3M                    Bison

Myasishchev M-50/52                           Bounder

North American B-25 Mitchell*             Bank

Petlyakov Pe-2                                      Buck

Tupolev Tu-2/6                                      Bat

Tupolev Tu-4/80                                    Bull

Tupolev Tu-14/89                                  Bosun

Tupolev Tu-16                                       Badger

Tupolev Tu-20/95/142                            Bear

Tupolev Tu-22                                       Blinder (originally Beauty)

Tupolev Tu-22M                                   Backfire

Tupolev Tu-82                                       Butcher

Tupolev Tu-85                                       Barge

Tupolev Tu-91                                       Boot

Tupolev Tu-98                                       Backfin

Tupolev Tu-160                                     Blackjack

Yakovlev Yak-28                                  Brewer (originally Brassard)

*Supplied by the United States under Lend-Lease during World War II.

 

C                                                         Cargo transport and civil aircraft

Aircraft                                                            ASCC Name

Antonov An-2/3                                    Colt

Antonov An-8                                       Camp

Antonov An-10                                     Cat

Antonov An-12                                     Cub

Antonov An-14                                     Clod

Antonov An-22                                     Cock

Antonov An-24                                     Coke

Antonov An-26                                     Curl

Antonov An-28                                     Cash

Antonov An-30                                     Clank

Antonov An-32                                     Cline

Antonov An-72/74                                 Coaler

Antonov An-124                                    Condor

Antonov An-225                                    Cossack

Beriev Be-30/32                                    Cuff

Ilyushin Il-12                                         Coach

Ilyushin Il-14                                         Crate

Ilyushin Il-18/20/22                                Coot (Il-18 originally Clam)

Ilyushin Il-62                                         Classic

Ilyushin Il-76                                         Candid

Ilyushin Il-86                                         Camber

Lisunov Li-2                                          Cab

Tupolev Tu-70/75                                  Cart

Tupolev Tu-104                                     Camel

Tupolev Tu-110                                     Cooker

Tupolev Tu-114                                     Cleat

Tupolev Tu-124                                     Cookpot

Tupolev Tu-134                                     Crusty

Tupolev Tu-144                                     Charger

Tupolev Tu-154                                     Careless

Yakovlev Yak-6/8                                 Crib

Yakovlev Yak-10                                  Crow

Yakovlev Yak-16                                  Cork

Yakovlev Yak-40                                  Codling

Yakovlev Yak-42                                  Clobber

 

F                                                          Fighter

Aircraft                                                            ASCC Name

Bell P-39 Airacobra*                             Fred

Lavochkin La-7                                     Fin

Lavochkin La-9                                     Fritz

Lavochkin La-11                                   Fang

Lavochkin La-15                                   Fantail

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-9                      Fargo

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15                     Fagot (originally Falcon)

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17                     Fresco

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19                     Farmer

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21                     Fishbed

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23/27                Flogger

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25                     Foxbat

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29/30/33            Fulcrum

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-31                     Foxhound

Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-2A                      Faceplate

Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-152A                  Flipper

Mikoyan-Gurevich I-42/I-44                   Flatpack

Sukhoi Su-7/17/20/22                             Fitter

Sukhoi Su-9/11                                      Fishpot

Sukhoi Su-15                                         Flagon

Sukhoi Su-24                                         Fencer

Sukhoi Su-25/28                                    Frogfoot

Sukhoi Su-27/30/33/35/37                       Flanker

Sukhoi Su-32/34                                    Fullback

Sukhoi Su-47                                         Firkin

Tupolev Tu-128                                     Fiddler

Yakovlev Yak-9                                    Frank

Yakovlev Yak-15/17                              Feather

Yakovlev Yak-25/27                              Flashlight

Yakovlev Yak-28P                                Firebar

Yakovlev Yak-36                                  Freehand

Yakovlev Yak-38                                  Forger

Yakovlev Yak-41/141                            Freestyle

*Supplied by the United States under Lend-Lease during World War II.

 

G                                                         Surface-to-Air Missiles

Missile                                                  ASCC Number/Name

La-205 (S-25)                                       SA-1 Guild

V-750                                                   SA-2 Guideline

5V24 (V-600), 5V27 (V-601)                 SA-3 Goa

9M8 (3M8), 9M316 Virazh                    SA-4 Ganef

La-400 (5V11)                                      SA-5 Griffon

9M9 (3M9)                                           SA-6 Gainful

9M32                                                    SA-7 Grail

9M33                                                    SA-8 Gecko

9M31                                                    SA-9 Gaskin

5V55                                                    SA-10 Grumble

9M38, 9M317                                        SA-11 Gadfly

9M83                                                    SA-12A Gladiator

9M82                                                    SA-12B Giant

9M37, 9M333                                        SA-13 Gopher

9M36                                                    SA-14 Gremlin

9M330, 9M331                                      SA-15 Gauntlet

9M313                                                  SA-16 Gimlet

9M317                                                  SA-17 Grizzly

9M39                                                    SA-18 Grouse

9M311                                                  SA-19 Grison

48N6, 9M96                                          SA-20 Gargoyle

48N6, 9M96, 40N6                                SA-21 Growler

9M335 (57E6), 57E6E                           SA-X-22 Greyhound

9M82M, 9M83M                                   SA-X-23

9M342                                                  SA-24 Grinch

Anti-Ballistic Missiles

V-1000                                                 Gaffer

5V61 (A-350)                                       ABM-1 Galosh

A-350                                                   ABM-X-2

5Ya26, 5Ya27                                       ABM-X-3

53T6                                                     ABM-4 Gazelle

51T6                                                     ABM-4 Gorgon

 

H                                                         Helicopters

Aircraft                                                            ASCC Name

Kamov Ka-10                                       Hat

Kamov Ka-15                                       Hen

Kamov Ka-18                                       Hog

Kamov Ka-20                                       Harp

Kamov Ka-22                                       Hoop

Kamov Ka-25                                       Hormone

Ka-26/126/128/226                                Hoodlum

Kamov Ka-27/28/29/32                          Helix

Kamov Ka-50                                       Hokum

Mil Mi-1                                               Hare

Mil Mi-2                                               Hoplite

Mil Mi-4                                               Hound

Mil Mi-6/22                                           Hook

Mil Mi-8/9/17/171                                  Hip

Mil Mi-10                                              Harke

Mil Mi-12 (V-12)                                   Homer

Mil Mi-14                                              Haze

Mil Mi-25/25/35                         Hind

Mil Mi-26                                              Halo

Mil Mi-28                                              Havoc

Mil Mi-34                                              Hermit

Yakovlev Yak-24                                  Horse

 

K                                                         Air-to-Surface Missiles

Missile                                                  ASCC Number/Name

KS-4                                                    AS-1 Kennel

K-10S                                                   AS-2 Kipper

Kh-20                                                   AS-3 Kangaroo

Kh-22, N, MP                                       AS-4 Kitchen

KSR-2P, 2M                                         AS-5 Kelt

KSR-5P, 5N, KSR-11                            AS-6 Kingfish

Kh-23, 23M, Kh-66                               AS-7 Kerry

Kh-28                                                   AS-9 Kyle

Kh-25, 25ML, 25MR                             AS-10 Karen

Kh-58A                                                AS-11 Kilter

Kh-25M                                                AS-12 Kegler

Kh-59T                                                 AS-13 Kingbolt

Kh-29L , 29T                                         AS-14 Kedge

RKV-15B                                             AS-15 Kent

RKV-500B                                           AS-16 Kickback

Kh-31A, 31P, 31RE                               AS-17 Krypton

Kh-59M                                                AS-18 Kazoo

Kh-65SE                                               AS-19 Koala

Kh-41 Moskit                                        AS-N-22

Kh-35                                                   AS-N-25

 

M                                                        Miscellaneous aircraft

Aircraft                                                            ASCC Name

Aero L-29 Delfin*                                 Maya      

Amtorg GST                                         Mop

Antonov An-71                                     Madcap

Beriev Be-2                                          Mote

Beriev Be-4                                          Mug

Beriev Be-6                                          Madge

Beriev Be-8                                          Mole

Beriev Be-10                                        Mallow

Beriev Be-12                                        Mail

Beriev Be-40/42/44 (A-40)                    Mermaid

Beriev MDR-2                                      Mote

Chetverikov Che-2 (MDR-6)                 Mug

Ilyushin Il-28U                                      Mascot

Ilyushin Il-38                                         May

Ilyushin Il-78                                         Midas

Ilyushin Il-86VPK                                 Maxdrome

Ilyushin/Beriev A-50                              Mainstay

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15UTI              Midget

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21U                  Mongol

Myasishchev M-17/55                           Mystic

Polikarpov Po-2 (U-2)                           Mule

Sukhoi Su-7U                                        Moujik

Sukhoi Su-9U                                        Maiden

Sukhoi Su-11U                                      Maiden

Tsybin Ts-25                                         Mist

Tupolev Tu-126                                     Moss

Yakovlev UT-2                                     Mink

Yakovlev Yak-7U                                 Mark

Yakovlev Yak-11                                  Moose

Yakovlev Yak-14                                  Mare

Yakovlev Yak-17UTI                            Magnet

Yakovlev Yak-18                                  Max

Yakovlev Yak-18M                               Mouse

Yakovlev Yak-25RV                             Mandrake

Yakovlev Yak-25R/27R                         Mangrove

Yakovlev Yak-28U                               Maestro

Yakovlev Yak-30                                  Magnum

Yakovlev Yak-32                                  Mantis

*Czechoslovak-built trainer supplied to the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact nations.

 

S                                                          Surface-to-surface missiles

Missile                                                  ASCC Number/Name

R-1                                                       SS-1A Scunner

R-11, R-17                                            SS-1 Scud

R-2                                                       SS-1 Sibling

R-5                                                       SS-3 Shyster

R-12                                                     SS-4 Sandal

R-14                                                     SS-5 Skean

R-7                                                       SS-6 Sapwood

R-16                                                     SS-7 Saddler

R-9                                                       SS-8 Sasin

R-36                                                     SS-9 Scarp

UR-200                                                            SS-X-10 Scrag

UR-100                                                            SS-11 Sego

9M76                                                    SS-12 Scaleboard

RT-2                                                    SS-13 Savage

RT-15                                                   SS-X-14 Scapegoat (Scamp)

RT-20                                                   SS-X-15 Scrooge

15Zh42                                                 SS-16 Sinner

MR-UR-100                                         SS-17 Spanker

R-36M                                                  SS-18 Satan

UR-100N                                              SS-19 Stiletto

15Zh45                                                 SS-20 Saber

9M79                                                    SS-21 Scarab

9M76                                                    SS-22 Scaleboard

9M714                                                  SS-23 Spider

RT-23                                                   SS-24 Scalpel

RT-2PM (15Zh58)                                SS-25 Sickle

9M72                                                    SS-X-26 Stone

RT-2PM                                               SS-27

15Zh53                                                 SS-X-28 Saber

Naval Coastal Defense SSMs

4K95                                                    SSC-1 Shaddock

4K44                                                    SSC-1B Sepal

FKR-1                                                  SSC-2A Salish

4K87                                                    SSC-2B Samlet

P-15M, P-21, P-22                                SSC-3 Styx

3M10                                                    SSC-X-4 Slingshot

3M25N Meteorit-N                               SSC-X-5 Scorpion

3M55                                                    SSC-X-5 Stooge

3M24 Uran                                           SSC-6 Sennight

Naval SSNs

P-1                                                       SS-N-1 Scrubber

R-11FM (8K61)                                    SS-N-1B Scud A

4K40, 4K51                                          SS-N-2 Styx

4K95                                                    SS-N-3A Shaddock

4K44, 3M44                                          SS-N-3B Sepal

4K48                                                    SS-N-3C Shaddock

R-13 (3M50)                                         SS-N-4 Sark

R-21                                                     SS-N-5 Serb

R-27                                                     SS-N-6 Serb

4M66                                                    SS-N-7 Starbright

R-29                                                     SS-N-8 Sawfly

4K85                                                    SS-N-9 Siren

(unknown)                                            SS-NX-10

(unknown)                                            XX-NX-11

4K77, 4K80                                          SS-N-12 Sandbox

R-27K                                                  SS-NX-13

83R, 84R, 85R                                       SS-N-14 Silex

82R                                                      SS-N-15 Starfish

86R, 88R                                              SS-N-16 Stallion

R-31 (3M17)                                         SS-N-17 Snipe

R-29R (3M40)                                      SS-N-18 Stingray

3M45                                                    SS-N-19 Shipwreck

R-39 (3M65)                                         SS-N-20 Sturgeon

RK-55 (3M10)                                      SS-N-21 Sampson

3M80                                                    SS-N-22 Sunburn

R-29RM (3M37)                                   SS-N-23 Skiff

3M25 Meteorit-M                                  SS-N-24 Scorpion

3M24                                                    SS-N-25 Switchblade

3M55 Oniks                                          SS-N-26 Strobile

3M54                                                    SS-N-27 Sizzler

R-39UT (R-39M, 3M91)                        SS-NX-28

89R                                                      SS-N-29

3M14                                                    SS-NX-30

Anti-Tank Missiles

3M6                                                     AT-1 Snapper

9M17 (PTUR-62)                                  AT-2 Swatter

9M14 (3M14, PTUR-64)                       AT-3 Sagger

9M111                                                  AT-4 Spigot

9M113                                                  AT-5 Spandrel

9M114 (PTUR-72), 9M120                    AT-6 Spiral

9M115, 9M116                                      AT-7 Saxhorn

9M112, 9M128                                      AT-8 Songster

9M114M                                               AT-9 Spiral-2

9M117                                                  AT-10 Stabber

9M119                                                  AT-11 Sniper

9M120                                                  AT-12 Swinger

9M131                                                  AT-13

9M133                                                  AT-X-14

9M123                                                  AT-15

9M120M                                               AT-16

 

Sources:

            Gunston, Bill, The Encyclopedia of Russian Aircraft 1875-1995, Motorbooks International, 1995, pgs. XV-XVII, XXX-XXXI

Parsch, Andreas and Aleksey V. Martynov, Designations of Soviet and Russian Military Aircraft and Missiles, http://www.designation-systems.net/non-us/soviet.html

            Soviet Aircraft Codenames, http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/history/q0070.shtml