phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: NATO reporting names

Posted by TheFallen on March 19, 2003

In Reply to: Re: NATO reporting names posted by TheFallen on March 19, 2003

: : We had a discussion a while back of the derivation / history of the word SCUD with no solid clues at all as to the derivation except that Bob found it was probably a NATO thing and another theory on it being a Russian cloud.
: : Anybody out there have anything to add?

: Sure. Scud isn't an acronym, nor a Russian word. It's a NATO-wide designation for the SS1 family of Soviet-designed surface-to-surface missiles, now in the hands of several other countries. Here's a fairly complete list of NATO terms for Soviet surface-to-surface missiles:

: SS-1 "Scunner" and "Scud"
: SS-2 "Sibling"
: SS-3 "Shyster"
: SS-4 "Sandal"
: SS-5 "Skean"
: SS-6 "Sapwood"
: SS-7 "Saddler"
: SS-8 "Sasin"
: SS-9 "Scarp"
: SS-10 "Scrag"
: SS-11 "Sego"
: SS-12 "Scaleboard"
: SS-13 "Savage"
: SS-14 "Scapegoat" and "Scamp"
: SS-15 "Scrooge"
: SS-16 "Sinner"
: SS-17 "Spanker"
: SS-18 "Satan"
: SS-19 "Stiletto"
: SS-20 "Saber"
: SS-21 "Scarab"
: SS-22 none
: SS-23 "Spider"
: SS-24 "Scalpel"
: SS-25 "Sickle"

: The terms seem to be fairly randomly chosen, though most if not all of them are recognisable English words, so don't go looking for too much rhyme or reason.

: However, definitely NOT random is the fact that, all Soviet surface-to-surface missiles are given NATO reporting names starting with S. This system is repeated in air-to-air missiles (they all start with A - Alkali, Atoll etc), air-to-surface missiles (K - Kennel, Kipper etc) and surface-to-air missiles (G - Guild, Guideline etc)

: It further continues into planes. Here's a list with some brief examples.

: Bombers are B - Backfire, Blackjack
: Fighters are F - Foxbat, Fulcrum
: Helicopters are H - Halo, Hokum
: Transport Planes are C - Condor, Cossack
: Miscellaneous Aircraft are M - Mainstay, Mule

On brief reflection, the Transport Planes all get C's because they're CARGO planes.