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Before the NATO ASCC reporting names became widely used, the USAF and United States Department of Defense applied their own system of allocating code names on newly discovered Soviet aircraft. Each item was given a type number sequentially, but it soon became obvious that the system was impractical over a long period of time, being abandoned in 1955, in favour of the NATO ASCC reporting name system.[1]

Some aircraft that were allocated USAF DoD type numbers were never allocated NATO reporting names. Inconsistencies in contemporary published lists have led to presumed re-allocations, predicated on research using contemporary Soviet documents by Helge Bergander.[1]

The US DoD also assigned codes to newly discovered Soviet or Chinese aircraft and equipment, which had not yet been identified, consisting of code for the site it was first identified, and a sequential letter.

USAF/DoD preliminary aircraft identification

Data from: Parsch[1]

USAF/DoD type number NATO reporting name Common name
Type 1 Fargo Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-9
Type 2 Feather Yakovlev Yak-15
Type 3   Lavochkin La-150
Type 4   Lavochkin La-152
Type 5   Lavochkin La-156
Type 6   Lavochkin La-160 Strelka
Type 7   Yakovlev Yak-19
Type 8   Sukhoi Su-9 (1946)
Type 9   Tupolev Tu-12
Type 10   Ilyushin Il-22
Type 11   Mikoyan-Gurevich I-270
Type 12   Tupolev Tu-73
Type 13   Yakovlev Yak-25 (1947) (Bergander)
Type 13   not allocated in contemporary published lists (published)
Type 14 Fagot Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15
Type 15   Lavochkin La-168
Type 16 Feather Yakovlev Yak-17
Type 17   Tupolev Tu-82 (Bergander)
Type 17   Sukhoi Su-11 (1947) (published)
Type 18   Sukhoi Su-15 (1949) (Bergander)
Type 18   Mikoyan-Gurevich I-320 (published)
Type 19 Fagot Mikoyan-Gurevich SP-1 (MiG-15bisP) (Bergander)
Type 19 Kennel KS-1 Kometa (air-to-surface missile, DOD code AS-1) (published)
Type 20   Yakovlev Yak-30 (1948) (Bergander)
Type 20 Fresco Mikoyan-Guryevich MiG-17 (published)
Type 21 Fantail Lavochkin La-15
Type 22 Colt Antonov An-2 (Bergander)
Type 22 Bat Tupolev Tu-2R / (Tupolev Tu-6) (published)
Type 23 Sukhoi Su-12
Type 24 Mare Yakovlev Yak-14 (Bergander)
Type 24 Yakovlev Yak-10 (published)
Type 25 Mist Tsybin Ts-25
Type 26 Magnet Yakovlev Yak-17UTI
Type 27 Beagle Ilyushin Il-28
Type 28 Flora Yakovlev Yak-23
Type 29 Midget Mikoyan-Guryevich MiG-15UTI
Type 30 Mascot Ilyushin Il-28U
Type 31 Barge Tupolev Tu-85
Type 32 Hare Mil Mi-1
Type 33 Mole Beriev Be-8
Type 34 Madge Beriev Be-6
Type 35 Bosun Tupolev Tu-14
Type 36 Hound Mil Mi-4
Type 37 Bison Myasishchev M-4
Type 38 Horse Yakovlev Yak-24 (Bergander)
Type 38 Fresco Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 (published)
Type 39 Badger Tupolev Tu-16
Type 40 Bear Tupolev Tu-95

DoD preliminary codes

Codes for Soviet sites:

Caspian Sea
GAZ-153 factory airfield (Novosibirsk)
Gromov Flight Research Institute, Ramenskoye, Moscow Oblast
Siberian Aeronautical Research Institute Named After S.A. Chaplygin (Novosibirsk)
Taganrog (Black Sea)

List of codes for Chinese locations:

Caspian Sea
DoD preliminary codes for aircraft
DoD code Common name NATO codename
CASP-A Alexeyev KM
CASP-B Alexeyev A-90 Orlyonok
KAZ-A Tupolev Tu-22M0 Backfire
NOVO-C Sukhoi T-60S
RAM-A ? (note 1)
RAM-G Yakovlev Yak-38 Forger
RAM-H Tupolev Tu-144 Charger
RAM-J Sukhoi T-8 (later Su-25) Frogfoot
RAM-K Sukhoi T-10 (later Su-27) Flanker
RAM-L Mikoyan MiG-29 Fulcrum
RAM-M Myasishchev M-17 Stratosfera Mystic
RAM-N Ilyushin Il-102
RAM-P Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack
RAM-Q ? (possibly not assigned)
RAM-R Buran (note 2)
RAM-T Yakovlev Yak-141 Freestyle
SIB-A Sukhoi FSW testbed (Sukhoi S-37)
TAG-A Beriev/Bartini VVA-14
TAG-B ? (note 3)
TAG-D Beriev A-40 Mermaid
HARB-A Harbin SH-5
NAN-A (small transport aircraft)
NAN-B (small fighter prototype)
XIAN-A Shenyang J-8-I Finback


  1. The RAM-A through RAM-F block most likely includes Sukhoi T6-1, Sukhoi T6-IG and Sukhoi T-4.
  2. RAM-R1 applied to the Buran structural test article, RAM-R2 to the jet-powered Buran aerodynamic test vehicle
  3. Candidates for TAG-B and TAG-C are the Alekseyev KM and Alekseyev A-90 Orlyonok Ekranoplans (WiG-Wing in Ground effect) vehicles, also allocated CASP-A and CASP-B.

US DoD preliminary codes for research and prototype missiles

This designation system is similar to the system used for prototype aircraft, but instead of sequential letters numerical sequences are used.

List of codes for Soviet and Russian test ranges:

Barnaul (Air Force)
Embi-5 (Air Defence)
Kapustin Yar
Nenoska (Navy)
Sary Shagan

List of codes for Chinese test ranges:

Shuang Cheng Tzu Missile and Space Test Facility
DoD preliminary codes for missiles
DoD code Common name NATO codename
BL-01 ?
BL-02 ?
BL-03 ?
BL-04 ?
BL-05 ?
BL-06 ?
BL-07 ?
BL-08 ?
BL-09 ?

M25A Meteorit-A

AS-X-19 Koala
EM-01 ?
KY-01 R-1/8K11 SS-1A (unconfirmed)
KY-02 R-11/8K14 SS-1B (unconfirmed)
KY-02 R-2/8Zh38 SS-2 (unconfirmed)
KY-02 R-5 Pobeda SS-3 (unconfirmed)
KY-03 R-17 Elbrus SS-1C/D Scud-B/C
KY-04 R-12/8K63 SS-4 (unconfirmed)
KY-05 R-14/8K65 SS-5 (unconfirmed)
KY-06 9M76 SS-12 (unconfirmed)
KY-07 RT-15/8K96 SS-X-14 (unconfirmed)
KY-08 ?
KY-09 (erroneous identification of SS-NX-13)
KY-10 ?
KY-11 9M76 SS-22 (unconfirmed)
KY-12 9M79 Tochka SS-21 Scarab
NE-01 ?
NE-02 ?
NE-03 ?
NE-04 R-39 Rif SS-N-20 Sturgeon
PL-01 RT-20 SS-X-15 Scrooge
PL-02 ?
PL-03 ?
PL-04 RT-23 SS-24 Scalpel
PL-05 RT-2PM Topol (15Zh58) SS-25 Sickle
SH-01 A-350Zh ABM-1A Galosh
SH-02 ?
SH-03 ?
SH-04 (note 1) A-350R ABM-1B Galosh
SH-05 ?
SH-06 ?
SH-07 ?
SH-08 53T6 ABM-3 Gazelle
SH-09 ?
SH-10 ?
SH-11 51T6 ABM-4 Gorgon
TT-01 ?
TT-02 ?
TT-03 ?
TT-04 ?
TT-05 N-1 SL-15
TT-06 ?
TT-07 ?
TT-08 ?
TT-09 9K720 Iskander SS-X-26 (note 2)
VA-01 ?
VA-02 ?
VA-03 ?
VA-04 ?
VA-05 ?
VA-06 ?
VA-07 (SRAM-type missile, mid-1980s; probably Kh-15)
VA-08 (Air-launched antiship cruise missile, mid-1980s)


  1. The SH-04 code my be in error. It's possible that the A350R was also given the SH-01 code of the A350Zh.
  2. The SS-X-26 code for the RSS-40 was later cancelled and reassigned to the 9M72 missile.


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