Contents of this section:
Section B.1: Common Internet abbreviations
Section B.2: Common naval abbreviations
Section B.3: Naval vessel designations (USA/NATO)
Section B.4: Naval vessel designations (USSR/Russia)
Section B.5: Warship naming
Section B.6: Meaning of warship status categories
Section B.8: Ship Displacements
Section B.9: Conversion factors
:-) = Smile :) = Smile :-( = Frown :( = Frown ;-) = Wink ;) = Wink AFAIK = As Far As I Know AKA = Also Known As BTW = By The Way FAQ = Frequently Asked Questions FWIW = For What It's Worth FYI = For Your Information IIRC = If I Remember Correctly IMHO = In My Humble Opinion IMNSHO = In My Not So Humble Opinion IMO = In My Opinion ISTR = I Seem To Recall/Remember ROTFL = Rolling On The Floor Laughing WRT = With Respect To YMMV = Your Mileage May Vary
This is a list of the most common abbreviation used in naval discussions. It is not a comprehensive list, nor does it include very common abbreviations such as US, UK, ft. and km. See http://www.hazegray.org/faq/ for a more comprehensive list of abbreviations and acronyms. See below for ship designations.
AA = Anti-Aircraft AAA = Anti-Aircraft Artillery AAM = Air-to-Air Missile AAW = Anti-Aircraft Warfare AEW = Airborne Early Warning ALCM = Air-Launched Cruise Missile AMRAAM = Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (Sparrow replacement) AP = Armour Piercing (shell/shot) ARPA = Advanced Research Projects Agency (USA) ASM = Air-to-Surface Missile (sometimes Anti-Ship Missile) ASROC = Anti-Submarine Rocket (rocket-boosted torpedo or depth charge) ASW = Anti-Submarine Warfare ASuW = Anti-Surface Warfare AVGas = Aviation Gasoline AVMF = Aviatsiya Voenno-Morsko Flota (Naval Air Force) (Russia) AWACS = Airborne Warning and Control System bhp = brake horsepower BPDMS = Basic Point Defense Missile System (Sea Sparrow) BU = Broken Up BuShips = US Bureau of Ships CAG = Carrier Air Group (obsolete) or Air Wing Commander (derived from Commander, Air Group) Cal = Caliber CAP = Combat Air Patrol CAS = Close Air Support CAW = Carrier Air Wing (obsolete) CEC = Cooperative Engagement Capability CIC = Combat Information Center CIS = Commonwealth of Independent States CIWS = Close In Weapons System CNO = Chief of Naval Operations CO = Commanding Officer COD = Carrier On-Board Delivery CODAG = Combined Diesel and Gas (turbine) propulsion CODOG = Combined Diesel or Gas (turbine) propulsion CODLAG = Combined Diesel-Electric and Gas (turbine) propulsion COGAG = Combined Gas (turbine) and Gas (turbine) propulsion COGOG = Combined Gas (turbine) or Gas (turbine) proplulsion COH = Complex Overhaul COIN = Counter-Insurgency Comm = Commissioned CONAS = Combined Nuclear And Steam (turbine) propulsion COSAG = Combined Steam (turbine) and Gas (turbine) propulsion CSAR = Combat Search and Rescue CT = Conning Tower CTOL = Conventional Take-Off and Landing CVW = Carrier Air Wing DARPA = Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (USA) (now ARPA) DASH = Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter DBS = Doppler Beam Sharpening DC = Depth Charge decom = decommission(ed) D/F or DF = Direction-Finder, Direction-Finding DOD = Department of Defense (USA) DP = Dual Purpose (gun) ECCM = Electronic Counter-Countermeasures ECM = Electronic Countermeasures ehp = equivalent horsepower ELINT = Electronic Intelligence EMP = Electromagnetic Pulse EPM = Electronic Protective Measures (i.e. ECCM) ESM = Electronic Support/Surveillance Measures EW = Electronic Warfare FAC = Forward Air Control FCS = Fire Control System FLIR = Forward-Looking Infrared FOD = Foreign Object Damage FRAM = Fleet Rehabilitation And Modernization FSU = Former Soviet Union FUSSR = Former USSR FY = Fiscal Year GB = Great Britain GFCS = Gun Fire Control System GIUK = Greenland-Iceland-United Kingdom (gap) GP = General Purpose GPS = Global Positioning System GRP = Glass Reinforced Plastic (fiberglass) GT = Gas Turbine GUPPY = Greater Underwater Propulsive Power (submarine modification) HA = High Angle (gun) HC = High Capacity (shell) (high explosive, for shore bombardment) HE = High Explosive (shell or warhead) H/F or HF = High Frequency HF/DF = High Frequency Direction Finding (for ASW) HMS = His/Her Majesty's Ship (UK) HMAS = His/Her Majesty's Australian Ship HMCS = His/Her Majesty's Canadian Ship HMNZS = His/Her Majesty's New Zealand Ship HP = High Pressure (usually steam) hp = horsepower HUK = Hunter-Killer (ASW group) ICIR = In Commission, In Reserve IFF = Identification Friend-or-Foe IFR = in-flight refuelling ihp = indicated horsepower IJN = Imperial Japanese Navy INS = Inertial Navigation System IR = Infrared ISAR = Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar JATO = Jet-Assisted Take-Off JMSDF = Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (Japanese Navy) JPATS = Joint Primary Aircraft Training System (T-34-T-37 replacement) JTIDS = Joint Tactical Information Distribution System LAMPS = Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (ASW helicopter) LANTIRN = Low-Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night (pod) LGB = Laser-Guided Bomb LP = Low Pressure (usually steam) LTA = Lighter Than Air (blimp/aerostat) MAD = Magnetic Anomaly Detection MARAD = Maritime Administration (USA) MIRV = Multiple Independently Targetted Re-entry Vehicle MG = Machine Gun MoD = Ministry of Defense (UK) MPA = Maritime Patrol Aircraft MSC = Military Sealift Command (USA) MSTS = Military Sea Transportation Service (USA) (now MSC) MTB = Motor Torpedo Boat MTS = Moored Training Ship NAS = Naval Air Station NATF = Naval Advanced Tactical Fighter NATO = North Atlantic Treaty Organization NAVSAT = Navigation Satellite NBC = Nuclear/Biological/Chemical Warfare NDRF = National Defense Reserve Fleet (USA) NECPA = National Emergency Command Post Afloat NGFS = Naval Gunfire Support nm = nautical mile(s) NRF = Naval Reserve Force (USA) NRO = National Reconniassance Office (USA) NSSM = NATO Sea Sparrow Missile NTDS = Naval Tactical Data System NVG = Night Vision Goggles NVR = Naval Vessels Register (USA) OPV = Offshore Patrol Vessel PDMS = Point Defense Missile System pdr = pounder PGM = Precision Guided Munition(s) psi = pounds per square inch (pressure) PWR = Pressurized Water Reactor QF = Quick Firing (gun) RAF = Royal (British) Air Force RAN = Royal Australian Navy RATO = Rocket-Assisted Take-Off RCN = Royal Canadian Navy RCOH = Refuelling/Comprehensive Overhaul RCS = Radar Cross-Section R&D = Research & Development Recce = Reconnaissance Recon = Reconnaissance RIO = Radar Intercept Officer RF = Rapid Fire (gun) RN = Royal Navy (UK) ROH = Regular Overhaul rpgpm = rounds per gun per minute rpm = rounds per minute (gun) or revolutions per minute RPV = Remote-Piloted Vehicle RRF = Ready Reserve Fleet (USA) SAM = Surface-to-Air Missile SAR = Search and Rescue SAR = Synthetic Aperture Radar SATCOM = Satellite Communication SEAD = Suppression of Enemy Air Defences SHAR = Sea Harrier shp = shaft horsepower SLAM = Standoff Land Attack Missile SLAR = Sideways-Looking Airborne Radar SLBM = Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile SLEP = Service Life Extention Program SLUF = Short Little Ugly F***er (A-7) SOSUS = Sound Surveillance Sustem SP = Single Purpose SR = Strike Rescue (same as CSAR) ST = Steam Turbine STOL = Short Take-Off and Landing STOVL = Short Take-Off/Vertical Landing str = stricken SUBROC = Submarine (ASW) Rocket TACAMO = Take Charge and Move Out (strategic communications aircraft) TACAN = Tactical Air Navigation Aid TACTASS = Tactical Towed Array Surveillance System TARPS = Tactical Air Reconnaissance Pod System TASM = Tomahawk Anti-Ship Missile TCS = Television Camera System TFCC = Tactical Flag Command Center TFR = Terrain-Following Radar TLAM = Tomahawk Land Attack Missile TRAM = Target Recognition and Attack Multi-Sensor TS = Training Ship TT = Torpedo Tube(s) UAV = Unmanned Air Vehicle UHF = Ultra High Frequency UNREP = Underway Replenishment USAF = United States Air Force USCG = United States Coast Guard USCGC = United States Coast Guard Cutter USMC = United States Marine Corps USN = United States Navy USNS = United States Naval Ship (civilian manned USN vessel) USS = United States Ship (commissioned USN vessel) VDS = Variable Depth Sonar VIFF = Vectoring in Forward Flight (Harrier) VLF = Very Low Frequency VLS = Vertical (missile) Launch System V/STOL = Vertical/Short Take-Off and Landing VTE = Vertical Triple Expansion (reciprocating engines) VTO = Vertical Take-Off VTOL = Vertical Take-Off and Landing WIG = Wing In Ground-Effect WSO = Weapon Systems Officer W/T = Wireless Telegraphy (obsolete) XO = Executive Officer (2nd in command)
This list is not comphrehensive; it includes only the more common designations. There are literally hundreds of obscure designations. See http://www.hazegray.org/faq/ for more complete lists. These designations are US Navy designations, but they are often unofficially applied to foreign warships. Designations are listed by type, then in alphabetical order.
It is important to realize that these are designations, not abbreviations or acronyms. Thus, the letters may not individually "stand for" anything; it is the designation as a whole that has some assigned meaning or definition. These definitions can be changed without changing the letters of the designation.
All information in this section provided by Brooks Rowlett.
Abbrev. Classification Translation ===== ============== =============== AK Avianosnyy Kreyser Aircraft Carrying Cruiser AKA Artilleriyskiy Kater Artillery Cutter AKVP Amfibiynyy Kater Na Vozdushnoy Air Cushion Amphibious Craft Rechnoyy AKVP Amfibiynyy Kater Na Vozdushnoy Air Cushion Amphibious Craft Podushke Rechnoyy BDK Bol'shoy Desantnyy Korabl' Large Landing Ship BPK Bol'shoy Protivolodochnyy Korabl' Large Antisubmarine Ship BPKR Bol'shoy Protivolodochnyy Kreyer Large Antisubmarine Cruiser BRK Bol'shoy Raketnyy Korabl' Large Missile Ship BT Bazovyy Tral'shchik Base Minesweeper BTK Bol'shoy Torpednyy Kater Large Torpedo Cutter (craft) DK Desantnyy Korabl' Landing Ship DKA Desantnyy Kater Landing Cutter (craft) DKVP Desantnyy Korabl' Na Vozdushnoy Podushke Air Cushion Landing Ship DS Desantnyy Sudno Landing Vessel EHOS Expeditsionnoye Okeanograficheskoye Sudno Expeditionary Oceanographic Vessel EM Eskadrenny Minonosets Destroyer (literally: squadron mine vessel) ENS Elektrostanttsiye Nalivatel'noye Sudno Electric Power Station Vessel GKS Gidroakusticheskoye Kontrol'noye Sudno Hydroacoustic Monitoring Vessel GP Gidrografichekoye Pribrezhnyy Bot Inshore Survey Craft GS Gidrograficheskoye Sudno Hydrographic Vessel KIL Kilektor Lift Ship KR Kreyser Cruiser KRZ Korabl' Razvedyvatel'nyy Intelligence Ship KS Kabel'noye Sudno Cable Vessel KSV Korabl' Svyazey Communications Ship KT Kater Tral'shchik Minesweeping Cutter (craft) KTs Kontrol'naya Tsel' Controlled target KVN Korabl' Vozdushnogo Nablyudeniya Radar Surveillance Ship LDK Ledokol Icebreaker MB Morskoy Buksir Seagoing Tug MPK Malyy Protivolodochnyy Korabl' Small Antisubmarine Ship MRK Malyy Raketnyy Korabl' Small Missile Ship MT Morskoy Tral'shchik Seagoing Minesweeper MVT Morskoy Vodnyy Tanker Seagoing Water Tanker OS Opitnoye Sudno Experimental Vessel PB Plavuchaya Baza Floating Base PKA Protivolodochnyy Kater Antisubmarine Cutter PKR Protivolodochnyy Kreyser Antisubmarine Cruiser PL Podvodnaya Lodka Submarine PLA Podvodnaya Lodka Atomnaya Submarine (nuclear) PLARB Podvodnaya Lodka Atomnaya Raketnaya Ballistecheskaya Ballistic Missile Submarine (nuclear) PLARK Podvodnaya Lodka Atomnaya Raketnaya Krylataya Cruise Missile Submarine (nuclear) PLRB Podvodnaya Lodka Raketnaya Ballistecheskaya Ballistic Missile Submarine PLRK Podvodnaya Lodka Raketnaya Krylataya Cruise Missile Submarine PLK Protivolodochnyy Korabl' Antisubmarine Ship PM Plavuchaya Masterskaya Floating Workshop PSKR Pogranichniy Storoshevoy Korabl' Border Patrol Ship PZHK Pozharnyy Kater Firefighting Cutter (craft) PZHS Pozharnoye Sudno Firefighting Vessel RKA Raketnyy Kater Missile Cutter RKR Raketnyy Kreyser Missile Cruiser RT Reydovoy Tral'shchik Roadstead Minesweeper SB Spasatel'nyy Buksir Rescue Tug SBR Sudno Bol'shogo Razmagnichivanya Large Deperming Vessel SDK Srednyy Desantnyy Korabl' Medium Landing Ship SKA Storozhevoy Kater Patrol Cutter (craft) SKR Storoshevoy Korabl' Patrol Ship SR Sudno Razmagnichivanya Deperming Vessel SS Spasatel'noye Sudno Salvage Vessel SSV Sudno Svyazey Communications Vessel TAKR Takticheskoye Avianosnyy Kreyser Tactical Aircraft Carrying Cruiser TKA Torpednyy Kater Torpedo Cutter TPKR Tyazholyi Protivolodochnyy Heavy Antisubmarine Cruiser Kreyser US Uchebnoye Sudno Training Vessel VT Voyenyy Tanker Military Tanker VT Vspomagatek'byy Tral'shchik Auxiliary Minesweeper VTR Voyenyy Transport Military Transport ZM Zaggraditel' Minnyy MinelayerSoviet/Russian ship classifications by class
Class Classification ===== =============== Typhoon PLARB Delta PLARB Yankee PLARB Hotel PLARB Golf PLRB Oscar PLARK Papa PLARK Charlie PLARK Echo PLARK Juliett PLRK Sierra PLA Akula PLA Mike PLA Alfa PLA Victor PLA November PLA Kilo PL Tango PL Foxtrot PL Romeo PL Zulu PL (some converted to PLRB) Whiskey PL (some converted to PLRK) Kuznetsov TAKR Gorshkov TAKR Kiev TAKR, ex-BPKR, ex-TPKR Moskva PKR Kirov RKR Slava RKR Kara BPK Kresta II BPK Kresta I RKR (orginally BPK) Kynda RKR Senyavin KU Zhdanov KU Sverdlov KR Udaloy BPK Sovremennnyy EM Mod Kashin BPK Kashin BPK (originally EM, then BRK) Kanin BPK Mod Kildin BRK SAM Kotlin EM Kotlin EM Skoryy EM Krivak SKR Koni SKR Grisha MPK (originally SPK) Petya SKR (originally PLK) Mirka SKR (originally PLK) Riga SKR Tarantul Nanuchka MRK Pauk MPK (PSKR in KGB service) Poti MPK T-58 (patrol) SKR naval, PSKR, KGB T-58 radar picket: KVN Matka TKA Osa RKA Turya TK Shmel AK Alesha ZM Natya MT Yurka MT T-43 MT Sonya BT Zhenya BT Vanya BT Yevgenya RT Baltika VT Ivan Rogov BDK Ropucha BDK Alligator BDK Polnocny SDK Vydra DK Aist DKVP Ugra PB Don PB Atrek PB Malina PM Amur PM Oskol PM Dnepr PM El'Brus SS Ingul SS Nepa SS Prut SS Pamir SS Sura KIL Neptun KIL Emba KS Klazma KS Lama PM, but two are PB Mod. Andizhan VTR "MP 6" VTR Berezina VTR Dubna VT Boris Chilikin VT Altay VT Olekhma VT Pevek VT Sofia VT Uda VT Koda VT Khobi VT Nercha VT Kazbek VTR Polyarnik VT Manych MVT Voda MVT Mayak VTR Vytegrales VTR Keyla VTR Chulym VTR Donbass VTR Smol'nyy US Wodnik US Ugra (training) US Potok OS Kolomna OS Tomna ENS Pelym SR Khabarov SR Onega GKS Sliva SB Goryn MB, except three are SB Sorum MB Okhtenskiy MB or SB Orel SB Roslavl MB, one is SB Osa Targets: KT Bal'zam SSV Moma SSV (one ship is GS) 'Mayak' GS 'Okean' GS Yug EHOS Akademik Krylov EHOS Akademik Kurchatov EHOS Nikolay Zubov EHOS Polyus EHOS Desna OS Sibir' OS Krivak III PSKR Grisha II PSKR All small combatants in KGB Maritime Border Patrol service are PSKR
People often wonder how names for warships are selected, particularly in the US Navy. USN has a long-standing (100+ years) naming tradition, but the scheme has been corrupted in recent years, mostly for political purposes.
It is often thought that ships are never named for a person while the
person was still alive. This was true until the 1970's. The first ship
named for a then-living person was USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), named in
1975. Other examples of ships named for then-living people include the
USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76)
USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51)
USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 709)
USS Jimmy Carter (SSN 23)
USNS Bob Hope (T-AKR 300)
This list includes the traditional and current naming schemes for most major US warship/auxiliary types, and exceptions to the schemes. When ships were reclassified from one type to another after commissioning the original name was almost always retained; these examples are not listed as exceptions.
Aircraft Carriers (CV/CVA/CVAN/CVB/CVL/CVN/CVS): Traditional: Famous battles and famous ships (CV 1-CVA 58, CVA 60-66) Current: Generally political figures, presidents, naval leaders (CVA 59, CVA 67, CVN 68-CVN 76) Exceptions: CV 1 named for an aviation pioneer (Langley), CV 38 named for a mythical place (Shangri-La), in honor of the Doolittle raid on Tokyo, CVB 42 named for a president (FD Roosevelt). Escort Carriers (AVG/ACV/CVE/CVHE/CVU): Initially named for bays, later vessels named for WWII battles. Many transferred to England and received new names, but kept US names on USN documents. Exeptions: Four Sangamon class converted from oilers reatained original ('river') names; Charger retained intended Royal Navy name. Battleships (BB): States. Exception: Congress directed that Kearsarge (BB 5) be named to honor the Civil War vessel of that name. Monitors: Traditional/Civil War Era: Indian tribes, bays. "New Navy": States, renamed to cities/locations 1908-1909. Exceptions: Initial vessel USS Monitor gave her name to the type; Puritan, Dictator, Terror had non-traditional names. (there was a very confusing renaming after the Civil War; the ships ended up returning to their original names.) Cruisers: All named for cities, except: Battlecruisers (CC): Early US warships. Large Cruisers (CB): Territories. Armored Cruisers (ACR-): States, renamed to cities 1912-1920. Exception: Brooklyn (ACR-3). Guided Missile Cruisers (CG): Famous battles and famous ships (many WWII carriers). Exception: CG 51 named for a person. Note: Many CG/CGN were changed from other classifications, keeping original names. Destroyer type ships (DD, DDG, DE, DEG, FF, FFG, DL, DLG and variants): Naval heroes and leaders. Exceptions: DLGN 36-41 named for states, DDG 47-50 named for famous battles (all later changed to CG/CGN). Submarines (SS/SSN and variants): Traditional: Fish; some assigned alphanumeric names (i.e. F-2). (officially "denizens of the deep") Later: Cities (SSN 688-725,750-773) Current: States (SSN 22, SSN 774, SSN 775) Exceptions: SSN 680, 686, 687, 685, 709, 23 named for people; SSN 21 used assigned a traditional name. Ballistic Missile Submarines (SSBN): Traditional: Famous Americans. (SSBN 598-602,608-611,616-620,622-636, 640-645,654-659) Current: States. (SSBN 726-743) Exceptions: Some "famous Americans" were foreigners, SSBN 730 named for a person (ex-USS Rhode Island). Patrol Vessels: PG, PR, PF: Small cities, except converted yachts were named for precious stones, ex-British corvettes (PG) were given positive-trait and "action" names. PHM: Mythological. PC: Natural phenomena. Others: mostly unnamed. Mine Craft: Traditional: Birds, later "action" words and militant characteristics, except minelayers named for mountain ranges. Current: MCM: Militant characteristics. MHC: Birds. Amphibious Ships: LHD: WWII aircraft carriers; previous LPHs LPH/LHA: Marine Corps battles. LCC: Mountains and mountain ranges. LKA/LST: Counties and parishes (LSTs originally unnamed) LPD: Cities honoring explorers and pioneers. LSD: Historic places and cities. Auxiliaries: (major vessels only) ACS: State nicknames. AD: Geographic areas, except AD 37 named for a labor leader. AE: Explosives and volcanoes. AFS: Cities, except some mythological names. AG: Various. AGC: Mountains and mountain ranges. AGM: Widely varied. AGOR: Mostly oceanographers. AGOS: Traits of capability or accomplishment. AGS: Mostly oceanographers. AH: "Mercy" names. AK/AKR: Star and constellation names, except prepositioned sealift ships named for military heroes, RRF ships given "Cape" names. AO: Rivers with indian names, except AO 187-195 named for industrialists, engineers and naval architects. AOE: Cities, except AOE 6-8,10 carry names of previous logistics ships. AOG: Indian names. AOR: Cities. AOT: As AO, except widely varied for chartered ships. AP: Heroes, presidents, generals, admirals, leaders. AR/ARC: Mythological. ARS: Salvage equipment, activities and terms. AS: Mythological and submarine pioneers. ASR: Birds. ATA/ATF: Indian names. ATS: US cities with British namesakes. AV: Bays and sounds. AVB: Aviation pioneers.
People often wonder what the various vessel status categories are. The most basic are fairly simple, but there are some rather obscure ones.
The following categories are primarily from US Navy practice, but are widely used and are fairly universal.
Informally, for nations that do not maintain a strict NVR/Navy List, stricken means that a vessel has been permanently removed from service and is to be disposed of. In almost all cases striking is the final formal status change before a vessel is disposed of.
What do all those displacement terms mean? The following is a general guide; the exact definitions vary from nation to nation and change over time.
The following are measures of volume not weight, and are applied only to merchant vessels:
Length Inch = 2.540 cm Foot = 0.3048 m Yard = 0.9144 m Mile = 1.609 km Nautical mile = 1.852 km Volume Gallon (US) = 3.785 L Gallon (UK) = 4.546 L Mass Pound = 0.4536 kg Short ton = 907.2 kg Long ton = 1016 kg Speed Mile per hour = 1.609 km/h Knot = 1.852 km/h Force Pound force = 4.448 N Kilogram force = 9.807 N Power Horsepower = 0.7457 kW