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Multiservice tactical brevity code

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Some of you DCS jet dudes/dudettes - particularly those of you new to the world of operations scented with AVTUR - will no doubt be somewhat puzzled by some of the codewords and acronyms bandied about.

These form part of the Multiservice tactical brevity code - a standard series of codewords used by the US/NATO, these are terms that are homogenised so that everyone knows what's going on and what information is being imparted. Or, at least, that's the idea...

List is here:


Get swotting!

Ones' you'll hear commonly:

Tactical control format providing target bearing, range, altitude, and aspect, relative to a friendly aircraft.
Friendly air-launched anti-ship missile (ASM) (for example, Harpoon, Exocet, or Penguin missiles).
Buddy lock
Locked to a known friendly aircraft; normally a response to a spike or buddy spike call and accompanied with position/heading/altitude.
Buddy spike
Friendly aircraft(s) air-to-air indication on radar warning receiver (RWR); to be followed by position, heading, and altitude.
An established point from which the position of an object can be referenced; made by cardinal/range or digital format.
  1. No radar contacts on aircraft of interest.
  2. No visible battle damage
  3. Aircraft not carrying external stores.


Cleared hot
Ordnance release is authorized.
  1. Attack geometry will result in a pass or rollout behind the target.
  2. On a leg of the combat air patrol (CAP) pointed away from the anticipated threats.
  3. Group( s) heading away from friendly aircraft.


To maneuver beyond the range of a missile; implies illuminating target at radar gimbal limits in a beyond visual range engagement.
Radar contact is lost. (Termination of track plotting is not warranted.)
Aircraft is in a defensive position and maneuvering with reference to an active threat.
Fox one
Indicates launch of a semi-active radar-guided missile (such as the AIM-7 Sparrow).[1]
Fox two
Indicates launch of an infrared-guided missile (such as the AIM-9 Sidewinder).[1]
Fox three
Indicates launch of an active radar-guided missile (such as the AIM-120 AMRAAM and AIM-54 Phoenix).[1]
Fox four
Historical term indicating air-to-air or air-to-surface cannon fire. The term in current usage is Guns, Guns, Guns.[2]
Laser on
Directive to start laser designation.
Final radar lock-on; sort is not assumed. (BRAA/direction)
Lost contact
Radar contact lost. (drop track is recommended.)
Lost lock
Loss of radar/IR lock-on (advisory).
Launch of friendly active radar homing missile, such as the AIM-120, without radar guidance from the launch aircraft. The missile will rely on its own radar to find a target and will generally track the first target it sees.
Launch of friendly anti-radiation missile (such as AGM-88 HARM, ALARM).
Friendly aircraft leaving contrails.
  1. Information that friendlies and targets have arrived in the same visual arena.
  2. Call indicating radar returns have come together.


Indicates radar warning receiver (RWR) ground threat displayed followed by clock position and type. (type/direction)
Electronic radar jamming. (On air interdiction (AI) radar, electronic deceptive jamming.)
Radar warning receiver (RWR) indication of AI radar in search. Add clock position/azimuth and radar type, if known.
No radar warning receiver (RWR) indications.
All aspect missile defensive maneuver to place threat radar/missile on the beam (directly perpendicular). Modern pulse-doppler radars remove ground clutter by filtering out returns from stationary objects; putting the threat on the beam permits the defending aircraft to be confused with ground returns and hence disappear from the threat radar. As missiles guide by creating a direct intercept course, this is also used to reduce the missile's speed and thus its ability to maneuver if radar lock is maintained.
Release of laser-guided bomb or bombs
Provide tactical situation status pertinent to mission.
Informative call that an active radar-guided missile (such as AIM-120, AIM-54, Meteor) is at active range and no longer requires radar input from launch aircraft.
Amount of time aircraft can remain on station.
1. Informative call of a contact that has suddenly appeared inside of meld/CCR/briefed range. 2. Criteria used as a self-defense method, within the ROE, to protect friendly air defense elements from hostile aircraft.
Two or more groups separated primarily in distance along the same bearing.
Indicates a radar lock-on to unknown aircraft; a request for a buddy spike (position/heading/altitude) reply from friendly aircraft meeting these parameters (to prevent friendly fire).
Friendly air-to-ground missile launch.
Informative call from wingman/element indicating the return to briefed formation position.
SAM (direction)
Visual acquisition of a SAM (surface-air missile) or SAM launch; should include position.
One weave, a single crossing of flight paths; maneuver to adjust/regain formation parameters.
Aircraft is out of or unable to employ active radar missiles.
Directive to turn on/off anti-collision lights.
RWR indication of an AI threat in track, launch, or unknown mode; include bearing, clock position, and threat type, if known.
  1. (A/A) Target hit with expended munition.
  2. (A/G) Weapons impact in lethal area of target


Sighting of a target, bandit, bogey, or enemy position; opposite of no joy.
Hostile antiship missile (ASM).
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Thanks Tom.Nothing more to add than 'That's a big ten four rubber duck'😉

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Brilliant thanks Tom, don't need wallpaper in the man cave got data sheets all over the place. I can fill the gaps in with this lot now :thumbsu: 

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Great, thanks Fen!

(Not that I am going to be able to store and use it all - then again, it will probably not be very relevant to me - well never say not - 

and IMHO, data sheets are for sissies! )


And I'd like to unofficially add one phrase to the list - one heard rather often over our radios in different forms, some with a rather bad smell - so just to standardize all of 'm into one word: Odear!


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