Joint Electronics Type Designation System

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 for assigning an unclassified designator to electronic equipment. JETDS is described in detail by 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:


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){hardware/software version} or (T){training equipment} . 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 numbers for any given type of equipment are assigned sequentially, thus higher numbers indicate more modern systems.

The three letter codes have the following meanings:

First letter: installation

Second letter: type of equipment

Third letter: purpose

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-1A, AN/SPY-1B, etc.), while entirely new equipment within the same category is given a new number (for example, AN/SPY-3).

Variants and training equipment

A suffix of the three characters "(V)" (capital V) followed by a serially generated numeric configuration identifier is appended to the three-letter designation above to specify a particular hardware configuration.

A suffix of (P) indicates a plug in module or component of a system.

A suffix of (C) indicates a controlled cryptographic item.

A suffix of "(T)" (capital T) indicates training systems.

For example:

AN/ABC-1(V)4 would be the 4th variant of the AN/ABC-1 equipment.


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 and Navy 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 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 in 1950, Canada in 1951 and the NSA in 1959 (though the NSA continued to use its own TSEC telecommunications security nomenclature[1]). In 1957 the U.S. Department of Defense approved a military standard for the nomenclature, MIL-STD-196. The system has been modified over time, with some types (e.g. carrier pigeon -B-) dropped and others (e.g. computers and cryptographic equipment) added. The latest version, MIL-STD-196F, was issued in 2013.

See also


External links

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