How are Military aircrafts named?

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Ambiguous Alphabets Explained

How are Military Aircraft named?

How are Military Aircrafts named?

The Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit.
The Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor
The North American P-51 Mustang.

What do these have in common? Besides being some SICK aircrafts in military aviation, they all have mysterious alphabets in their name which really don’t make sense. OR DO THEY?

Let’s try and decode what their names indicate.

So the letters stand for the primary function of the aircraft.

A10 Thunderbolt

A10 Thunderbolt

 The A in A10 thunderbolt stands for attack. These tactical metal birds can mess up a place with more precision than a bomber. How they do that is by being able to fly close to the enemy grounds, launch airstrikes and flee the scene like it’s nobody’s business. They ARE equipped to engage in air to air combat but it’s not what they were MADE for.

B2 spirit

B2 Spirit
B2 Spirit

The B in B2 spirit stands for bomber, designed to drop bombs on the ground bases. They’re on the heavier side (not weight shaming or anything) and thus not as manoeuvrable as an attack aircraft.

EF111 Raven

EF111 Raven
EF111 Raven
The E in EF111 Raven stands for electronic installation. These modern marvels have the exceptional ability to engage in electronic attack (using electromagnetic energy to jam enemy systems) and electronic protection(harnessing EM power to protect themselves from being pulled into an electronic attack) among other awesome things to do with EM energy.

F-22 Raptor

f22 Raptor
f22 Raptor

The F in F-22 Raptor stands for Fighter. Made for dogfights, let’s admit these belligerent devils look the coolest in the skies.

KC-135 Stratotanker

KC-135 Stratotanker

The K in KC-135 Stratotanker stands for Kerosene tanker. These are like war nurses in the skies. When a fighter who has just gotten out of a dogfight is running out of fuel in the air, Fuelrence tankingale comes bearing fuel. They can perform air to air refuelling. Where a rod pops out mid air and attaches itself to the aircraft in need of fuel.

P-52 mustang
P52 mustang
P52 mustang

The P in P-52 mustang stands for Patrol or Pursuit. They are fighters  They later came to be referred to as the F series.

SR-71 Blackbird

SR-71 Blackbird
SR-71 Blackbird

The R in SR-71 stands for Strategic Reconnaissance. Spies in the skies more like it. They collect information over enemy regions and return to ground base. In a recon mission they are often accompanied by fighters, as they are not equipped to defend themselves against enemy fighters.

T-67 firefly

T-67 firefly
T-67 firefly

The T in T-67 firefly stands for Trainer. The teachers. These aircrafts give pilots in training the experience they need to get up and flying.

U-2

U-2
U-2
The U in U-2 stands for utility. They are used for transporting people or freight

YF-23

YF-23
YF-23

The Y in YF-23 stands for prototype. These prototype aircrafts may or may not make it to the country’s fleet.

X-15

X-15
X-15

The X in X-15 stands for Research. These aircrafts are still in the rudimentary research phase where they will be made to undergo rigorous testing before they get the chance to make it to the coveted hangars.


Check our previous articles on
How are Boeing planes named?
How are Airbus planes named?


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