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Re: NATO reporting names - can anyone help with sasin and scaleboard?

Posted by K-All on March 21, 2003

In Reply to: Re: NATO reporting names - can anyone help with sasin and scaleboard? 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.

: : "And still they gazed/and still the wonder grew/that one small head/could carry all he knew" ...

: "Don't be fooled, / Don't let this trouble you. / It's all to be found / On the www."

: Just for the sake of completeness:

: Scunner (n) - a strong aversion or dislike.
: Skean (n) - a double-edged dagger (Celtic - skean dhu).
: Sapwood (n) - the newly formed outer wood within a treetrunk. Sapwood is usually lighter in colour than heartwood.
: Sego (n) - the edible bulb of the sego lily.

: I'd now just love to know how the names are chosen - either someone in NATO is either astonishingly erudite, or the Generals get together and throw darts at an encyclopaedia, or maybe they're randomly selected by a computer from an actual word list.

: I'm also irked that I can find no meanings at all for either "sasin" or "scaleboard".

Sasin
appears to be a Slavic word in use in what was once Yugoslavia.