U.S. Military Aircraft and Weapon Designations

Here I have attempted to compile a list of all types of aircraft used, purchased, planned, or proposed by the U.S. Army and the U.S. Army Air Corps (from 1924), the U.S. Army Air Forces (from 1941), the U.S. Air Force (from 1948), and the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and the U.S. Coast Guard (from 1962).

I have also included the designations for some aerial weapons (bomb units, rockets, and missiles) and space vehicles (boosters, probes, and satellites).

I will try to keep this list as accurate and current as possible. However, the list as it now is by no means complete, and I welcome you to mail any contributions, corrections, or suggestions to me.

Also, there is an explanation and list of these designation systems.


A - Amphibian Aircraft
O - Observation Aircraft
A - Attack Aircraft
P - Patrol Aircraft
AT - Advanced Trainer Aircraft
P - Pursuit Aircraft
B - Bomber Aircraft
PT - Primary Trainer Aircraft
BT - Basic Trainer Aircraft
Q - Drone Aircraft
C - Cargo Aircraft
R - Rotary-wing Aircraft
E - Electronic Warfare Aircraft
S - Search Aircraft
F - Fighter Aircraft
T - Trainer Aircraft
F - Photoreconnaissance Aircraft
U - Utility Aircraft
G - Glider Aircraft
V - VTOL/STOL Aircraft
H - Helicopters
X - Experimental Aircraft
L - Laser Aircraft
Z - VTOL Aircraft/Airships
L - Liaison Aircraft

Naval Aircraft

A - Ambulance Aircraft
P - Patrol Aircraft
A - Attack Aircraft
PB - Patrol Bomber Aircraft
B - Bomber Aircraft
R - Racer Aircraft
BF - Bomber Fighter Aircraft
R - Rotorcraft
BT - Bomber Torpedo Aircraft
R - Transport Aircraft
F - Fighter Aircraft
S - Scout Aircraft
G - In-flight Refueling Aircraft
SB - Scout Bomber Aircraft
G - Transport Aircraft
SN - Scout Training Aircraft
H - Helicopters
SO - Scout Observation Aircraft
H - Hospital Aircraft
T - Torpedo Aircraft
J/JR - Utility Transport Aircraft
T - Training Aircraft
K - Drone Aircraft
T - Transport Aircraft
L - Glider Aircraft
TB - Torpedo Bomber Aircraft
N - Training Aircraft
TD - Target Drone Aircraft
O - Observation Aircraft
U - Utility Aircraft
OS - Observation Scout Aircraft
W - Airborne Early Warning Aircraft

Weapon Designations

B - Bombs/Bomb Units
M - Missiles
R - Rockets
M - Missiles (Pre-1962)

Space Vehicle Designations

B - Boosters
S - Satellites
N - Probes
S - Spaceplanes

Other Designations

D - Drone/UAV Control System