Military Acronyms


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A – 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

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)

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)

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

ASM – Air-to-Surface Missile

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

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 With Out Leave


B – Bomber designation (as in B-52 Stratofortress)

BAe – British Aerospace now BAe Systems

bhp – Brake Horsepower

BVR – Beyond Visual Range


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

CDU – Control Display Unit

CEA – Circular Error Average

CEP – Circular Error Probable

CEV – Combat Engineer 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


DEW – Distant Early Warning (US) DFC – Distinguished Flying Cross: air force decoration DGPS – Differential GPS DoD – Department of Defense DP – Dual Purpose DVI – Direct Voice Input DZ – Drop Zone 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 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 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 Fly-by-Wire – Flight control systems with electric signaling

FMC – Food Machinery Corporation

FMS – Foreign Military Sale (US)

FN – Fabrique National (Belgium)

FUBAR – ‘Fouled’ Up Beyond All Recognition

FV – Fighting Vehicle


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)


HE – High Explosive

HEAP – High Explosive Anti-Personnel HEAT – High Explosive Anti-Tank

HEAT -FS – High Explosive Anti-Tank – Fin Stabilized

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


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 Counter Measure

ISA – International Standard Atmosphere

IRS – Inertial Reference System IRST – Infra-Red Search and Track


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-

STAR – Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Grumman E-8)

JSOW – Joint Stand-Off Weapon

JSF – Joint Strike Fighter

JTIDS – Joint Tactical Information Distribution System


KCAS – Calibrated AirSpeed (in Knots)

KG – Kilograms KIAS – Knots Indicated Airspeed

KM – KiloMeter KM/H – KiloMeters per Hour

kN – KiloNewton measure of force (1000 Newtons : 1 Newton = 0.2248 lbs of force) Knot – Aviation and maritime unit of velocity

KT – Kiloton (equivalent explosive force of 1000 tons of TNT) Kt/Kts – Knot(s)

KTAS – True AirSpeed in Knots

kW – KiloWatt


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

LF – Low Frequency (30 to 300 kHz)

LGB – Laser-Guided Bomb

LLLTV – Low Light Level Television LO – Low Observables

LPT – Low Profile Turret

LRMP – Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft

LT – Lieutenant LT – Light Tank

LVTP – Landing Vehicle Tracked Personnel

LZ – Landing Zone


MACH – Measure of Airspeed (Mach 1 = 1223 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

MILAN – Missile d’Infanterie Leger Anti-Char min – Minute(s)

MLU – Mid-Life Update MLRS – Multiple Launch Rocket System mm – Millimeter MoD – Ministry of Defense

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


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


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


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 Q (N/A) 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


NeAF – 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


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

SMG – Sub Machine 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


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


UAV – Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

UHF – Ultra-High Fequency (300MHz to 3 GHz) UN – United Nations

USAF – United States Air Force

USAFE – United States Air Force in Europe

USMC – United States Marine Corps

USN – United States Navy


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


WO – Warrant Officer

WSO – Weapon System Operator (or Weapon System Officer)

X (N/A)

Y (N/A)

Z (N/A)