The Joint Electronics Type Designation System (JETDS), which was previously known as the Joint Army-Navy Nomenclature System (AN System. JAN) and the Joint Communications-Electronics Nomenclature System, is a method developed by the U.S. War Department during
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
for assigning an unclassified designator to electronic equipment. In 1957, the JETDS was formalized in MIL-STD-196. Computer software and commercial unmodified electronics for which the manufacturer maintains design control are not covered.


Electronic material, from a military point of view, generally includes those electronic devices employed in data processing, detection and tracking (underwater, sea, land-based, air and space), recognition and identification, communications, aids to navigation, weapons control and evaluation, flight control, and electronics countermeasures. Nomenclature is assigned to: * Electronic materiel of military design * Commercial electronic materiel that has been modified for military use and requires military identification and design control * Electronic materiel which is intended for use by other Federal agencies or other governments that participate in the nomenclature system.


In the JETDS system, complete equipment sets or systems are designated with a sequence of letters and digits prefixed by AN/, then three letters, a hyphen, a number, and (occasionally) some optional letters (AN/AAA-nnn suffixed by (Vn) or (T) . The three letters tell where the equipment is used, what it does and its purpose. For example, the AN/PRC-77 is a Portable Radio used for two way Communications. The model numbers for any given type of equipment are assigned sequentially, thus higher numbers indicate systems that are more modern. The three letter codes have the following meanings:

First letter: installation

* A - Piloted Aircraft * B - Underwater Mobile (submarine) * C - Cryptographic Equipment (was Air, Transportable) (
NSA The National Security Agency (NSA) is a national-level intelligence agency An intelligence agency is a government agency A government or state agency, sometimes an appointed commission, is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the m ...

use only) * D - Pilotless Carrier (drone,
UAV , a hunter-killer surveillance UAV , rotorcraft A rotorcraft or rotary-wing aircraft is a heavier-than-air aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to flight, fly by gaining support from the Atmosphere of Earth, air. It counters th ...

) * F - Ground, Fixed * G - Ground, General * K - Amphibious * M - Ground, Mobile * P - Portable * S - Water (surface ship) * T - Ground, Transportable * U - General Utility (multi use) * V - Ground, Vehicle * W - Water Surface and Underwater combined * Z - Piloted-Pilotless Airborne Vehicles combined

Second letter: type of equipment

* A - Invisible Light, Heat Radiation (e.g., infrared) * B -
Communications security Communications Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing meaning among entities or groups through the use of sufficiently mutually understood signs, symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word ...
Pigeon Columbidae () is a bird family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the well-being of its members and o ...

) (NSA use only) * C - Carrier (electronic wave or signal) * D - Radiac (Radioactivity Detection, Identification, and Computation) * E - Laser (was NUPAC, Nuclear Protection & Control) * F - Fiber Optics (was Photographic) * G - Telegraph or Teletype * I - Interphone and Public Address * J - Electromechanical or Inertial Wire Covered * K - Telemetering * L - Countermeasures * M - Meteorological * N - Sound in Air * P - Radar * Q - Sonar and Underwater Sound * R - Radio * S - Special or Combination * T - Telephone (Wire) * V - Visual, Visible Light * W - Armament (not otherwise covered) * X - Facsimile or Television * Y - Data Processing or Computer * Z - Communications (NSA use only)

Third letter: purpose

* A - Auxiliary Assembly * B - Bombing * C - Communications (Receiving/Transmitting, two way) * D - Direction Finder, Reconnaissance and Surveillance * E - Ejection and/or Release * G - Fire Control or Search Light Directing * H - Recording and/or Reproducing * K - Computing * L - no longer used (was Searchlight Control, now covered by "G") * M - Maintenance or Test Assemblies * N - Navigational Aids * P - no longer used (was Reproducing, now covered by "H") * Q - Special or Combination * R - Receiving or Passive Detecting * S - Detecting or Range and Bearing, Search * T - Transmitting * W - Automatic Flight or Remote Control * X - Identification and Recognition * Y - Surveillance (search, detect, and multiple target tracking) and Control (both fire control and/or air control) * Z - Secure (NSA use only)

Model number

Following the three-letter designation, after a dash, is a number, uniquely identifying the equipment. Different variants of the same equipment may be given an additional letter and other suffixes (for example,
AN/SPY-1 The AN/SPY-1 is a United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold  , colors_label = Colors , march = "Anchors Aweigh" , mascot = , equipm ...
A, AN/SPY-1B, etc.), while entirely new equipment within the same category is given a new number (for example,
AN/SPY-3 The AN/SPY-3 is an active electronically scanned array radar manufactured by Raytheon and designed for both Maritime geography#Blue water, blue-water and littoral operations. Background The Aegis Combat System, Aegis battle management system beg ...

Variants and training equipment

A suffix "(V)", parenthetical V, indicates variable components. A number may follow the parenthetical V to identify a specific configuration. Or the number will identify the precise quantity of equipment required for a specific configuration. A suffix of "(P)", parenthetical P, indicates a unit or component of a system which are designed to accept "plug-in" modules capable of changing the function, frequency, or other technical characteristics of the unit. A suffix of "(C)", parenthetical C, indicates a NSA-controlled cryptographic/classified item. See also: Classified information in the United States#Confidential. A suffix of "-T''n'' ", dash T followed by a number, indicates equipment designed to provide training in the operation of a specific set or multiple sets. For example: AN/ABC-1(V) would be an AN/ABC-1 complete equipment set capable of operating in multiple different configurations with variable components. AN/ABC-1(V)4 would be the 4th specific configuration of the AN/ABC-1(V) complete equipment set. OT-1957(V)1/ABC-1(V) would be the 1st specific configuration of the OT-1957(V) group required as a component for the AN/ABC-1(V) complete equipment set. AN/ABC-1(C) would be an NSA-controlled cryptographic/classified complete equipment set. R00(P)/ABC-1 would be a unit (capable of accepting plug-in modules) required as a component for the AN/ABC-1 complete equipment set. AN/ABC-1-T1 would be the first training set for the AN/ABC-1 complete equipment set. AN/ABC-T1 would be the first training set for several different AN/ABC-''n'' complete equipment sets. AN/UBC-T1 would be the first training set for both AN/ABC-''n'' and AN/GBC-''n'' complete equipment sets; this is a usage for a training set which can be used for complete equipment sets of similar type and purpose but different installation locations.


Subsystems ("groups") are designated by a two letter code (without the AN/ prefix), followed by a number, followed by slash and one, two or three letters from the three letter codes for systems. For example, BA-1234/PRC would be a battery for portable radio sets. Some subsystems will have the designation for the system they belong to. For example, RT-859/APX-72 and C-6820/APX-72, the /APX-72 indicates both are part of the AN/APX-72 system.


JETDS was adopted 16 February 1943 by the Joint Communications Board for all new
Army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-based military branch Military branch ...
Navy A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a nation's armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense ...
airborne, radio, and radar equipment. Over time it was extended to cover the Marine Corps and the Navy's ship, submarine, amphibious, and ground electronic equipment. When the
Air Force
Air Force
was established as a separate department, it continued the use of the system for electronic equipment. JETDS was adopted by the
United States Coast Guard The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is the maritime security, search and rescue, and maritime law enforcement, law enforcement military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the country's eight Uniformed services ...
in 1950,
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...

in 1951 and the
NSA The National Security Agency (NSA) is a national-level intelligence agency An intelligence agency is a government agency A government or state agency, sometimes an appointed commission, is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the m ...

in 1959 (though the NSA continued to use its own TSEC telecommunications security nomenclature). In 1957 the
U.S. Department of Defense The United States Department of Defense (DoD, USDOD or DOD) is an executive branch department of the federal government charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government directly related to national secur ...
approved a
military standard In military organizations, the practice of carrying colours, standards or guidons, both to act as a rallying point for troops and to mark the location of the commander, is thought to have originated in Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt ...
for the nomenclature, MIL-STD-196. The system has been modified over time, with some types (e.g.
carrier pigeon The true messenger pigeon is a variety of domestic pigeons (''Columba livia domestica'') derived from the wild rock dove, selective breeding, selectively bred for its ability to find its way home over extremely long distances. The rock dove has ...
-B-) dropped and others (e.g. computers and cryptographic equipment) added. The latest version, MIL-STD-196G, was issued in 2018.

Listing of AN/ equipment designations

Derived systems

* The
Japan Self-Defense Forces The Japan Self-Defense Forces ( ja, 自衛隊, Jieitai; abbreviated JSDF), also known as the Japanese Armed Forces, are the unified military force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organiz ...
use a similar system that replaces the "AN/" prefix with "J/". Equipment sharing the same designation may or may not be equivalent. For example, the J/AWG-12 fitted on the
Mitsubishi F-1 The Mitsubishi F-1 is a Japanese swept-wing, single-seat, twin-engine supersonic strike aircraft that was in service with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force The , JASDF, also informally referred to as the Japanese Air Force, is the air warfare ...
is said to be closely related to the AN/AWG-12, but the 1990s J/APG-1 is clearly different from the 1940s AN/APG-1 on the P-61B. * The
Military of the Republic of China The Republic of China Armed Forces are the armed forces of the Republic of China Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. It shares Maritime boundary, maritime borders with the China, People's Republic ...
(Taiwan) uses a similar system with the "CS/" prefix. For example, CS/MPG-25 is a radar related to the
AN/MPQ-46 The Raytheon MIM-23 HAWK ("Homing All the Way Killer, commonly referred to as "Hawk") is an American medium-range surface-to-air missile. It was designed to be a much more mobile counterpart to the MIM-14 Nike Hercules, trading off range and alti ...
.O'Halloran, James C. "Tien Kung I low-to-medium-altitude surface-to-air-missile system, pages 299-300," Jane's Land-Based Air Defense, 2002-2003 Edition.

See also

American War Standard American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States ** Americans, citizens and nationals of the United States of America ** American ancestry, people who self-id ...
(AWS) *
List of military electronics of the United States This page lists types of American military electronic instruments Instrument may refer to: Science and technology * Flight instruments, the devices used to measure the speed, altitude, and pertinent flight angles of various kinds of aircraft * ...
Signal Corps Radio Signal Corps Radios were U.S. Army The United States Army (USA) is the land Land is the solid surface of the Earth that is not permanently covered by water. The vast majority of human activity throughout history has occurred in land a ...
early system * List of U.S. Signal Corps vehicles V-numbers *
AWS color code for resistors ), from top, 2-2-6-1-1; the last two brown bands indicate the multiplier (×10) and the tolerance (1%). An electronic color code is used to indicate the values or ratings of electronic components, usually for resistors, but also for capacitors, in ...
capacitors A capacitor is a device that stores electric charge in an electric field An electric field (sometimes E-field) is the physical field that surrounds electrically-charged particle In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπ ...
following AWS/JAN specifications


*The US government's BINCS database currently assignes
CAGE A cage is an enclosure often made of mesh A mesh is a barrier made of connected strands of metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, pol ...
code 80058 to JETDS items. *The US government's system for input of Form DD-61 Request for Nomenclature is the Joint Electronic Type Designation Automated Syste

External links


{{US military navbox Military electronics of the United States Equipment of the United States Air Force Encodings Military science Military communications History of radio Radio electronics