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Army Nomenclature System

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Army Nomenclature System is a nomenclature system used by the US Army for giving type designations to its materiel. It is based on MIL-STD-1464A which was released in 1981[1] and most recently revised on February 22, 2021.[2]


The Army Nomenclature System is designed to help accurately reference specific items which may have similar names to other items of their category. It applies to:

  • Weapons
  • Ammunition
  • Vehicles
  • Explosives
  • System components
  • Other equipment associated with handling/storage/management of the above

It is not utilized if one of the following nomenclature systems can designate the item:


The complete nomenclature consists of an Approved Item Name (AIN), an extended modifier (if applicable), and the type designation. The AIN is presented in all capital letters, is not abbreviated, and is followed by a colon. Each AIN has a corresponding 6-digit Item Name Code (INC) which can be referenced in the H6 Cataloging Handbook. The extended modifier is in lower case and may contain abbreviations (which are capitalized). The type designation does not use any spaces or hyphens (so "M-16" and "M 16" are incorrect). An example given is "PROJECTILE, 105 MILLIMETER: HE, rocket assisted, M547A3". The Approved Item Name is "PROJECTILE, 105 MILLIMETER"; the extended modifier(s) "HE, rocket assisted", and the type designation is "M547A3".

The type designation may not be unique to that specific item and, thus, may not accurately identify an item if the Approved Item Name and Extended Modifier are not included.[3] For example, the type designation M1 is used in the M1 Carbine as well as the M1 Abrams tank, however, the former is specified as "CARBINE, CALIBER .30, M1" while the latter is specified as "TANK, COMBAT, FULL TRACKED: 105-MM Gun, M1".[4][5]

The type designation is rendered as a prefix letter(s) followed by a number, possibly followed by a letter-number suffix to denote various versions.

Prefix letter(s) Meaning Example
XM Experimental (in development or limited production) CARTRIDGE, 120 MILLIMETER: HE, Guided, XM395
M Type Classified Standard (TC-STD) MACHINE GUN, 5.56 MILLIMETER, M249
Letter-Number suffix
Letter portion Meaning Examples
A Successive approved modifications (A1, A2, A3, etc.) RECOVERY VEHICLE, FULL TRACKED: Heavy, M88A2
E Experimental modification versions (E1, E2, E3, etc.) CARTRIDGE, 40 MILLIMETER: Practice, Target, Day, Night, Thermal, High velocity, M918E1

See also


  1. ^ "MIL-STD-1464A (AR) MILITARY STANDARD ARMY NOMENCLATURE SYSTEM" (PDF). US Army. 15 May 1987. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 April 2022. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  2. ^ "MIL-STD-1464A (AR) w/ CHANGE 1 MILITARY STANDARD ARMY NOMENCLATURE SYSTEM" (PDF). US Army. 22 February 2021. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 June 2022. Retrieved 30 June 2022.
  3. ^ "Miscellaneous Designation Systems". Archived from the original on 31 March 2022. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  4. ^ "Military Training Lands Historic Context Small Arms Ranges" (PDF). US Army Corps of Engineers Construction Engineering Research Laboratory. April 2010. p. viii. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 April 2022. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  5. ^ "TM 9-1200-206-40-5". Army Publishing Directorate. 28 February 2007. Archived from the original on 4 April 2022. Retrieved 4 April 2022.

This page was last edited on 31 July 2022, at 21:03
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