IT Knowledgebase
< All Topics

Military Alphabet and NATO Phonetic Alphabet

The (International) Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet, commonly known as the NATO phonetic alphabet, is the most widely used set of clear code words for communicating the letters of the Roman alphabet.

In 1956, NATO modified the then-current set of code words used by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO); this modification then became the international standard when it was accepted by ICAO that year and by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) a few years later. The words were chosen to be accessible to speakers of English, French and Spanish.

It is now very widely used by all types of “professional communicators” including air traffic control, the police and other emergency services, shipping, etc and in all types of business.