A Guide to Acronyms
As with large chunks of life, the world of defence and security is littered with TLA’s (Three Letter Acronyms…see what I did there? 🙂 ). Over time this page will build up to a list of acronyms and what they actually mean. If you see something in one of the posts that isn’t here then give me a poke and I’ll add it to the list. It’ll likely be a bit slapdash and not in alphabetical order to begin with…I’ll fix that as I go along.
NATO – North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. The main security/collective defence organisation of The West.
PRC – People’s Republic of China. China, the nation-state of.
PLA – People’s Liberation Army. The armed forces of the People’s Republic of China. Although it covers all branches of service it also refers specifically to the Army.
PLAN – People’s Liberation Army Navy. The naval component of the People’s Liberation Army. I know…Army Navy sounds odd, but who are we to argue?
PLAAF – People’s Liberation Army Air Force. The air component of the People’s Liberation Army.
PLANAF – People’s Liberation Army Navy Air Force. The fleet air arm component…..Army Navy Air Force….again…I know….
ASCM – Anti Ship Cruise Missile. Guided missile used to target ships. Can be fired from a multitude of platforms. Examples include AGM-84 Harpoon, SS-N-22 Sunburn and the ubiquitous Exocet.
CDCM – Coastal Defence Cruise Missile. Guided missile used to target ships. Launched from emplacements (fixed and mobile) from the coastline. Examples include SSC-5 Bastion.
PGM – Precision Guided Munition. Explosive warhead strapped to a relatively advanced guidance system. Can be rockets, missiles or bombs. Examples include the Paveway series of Laser Guided Bombs, AGM-114 Hellfire and the AGM-65 Maverick
RMA – Revolution in Military Affairs. Basically a radical change in military capability such as the introduction of the bow
C4ISTAR – Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance. Doctrine and capability to describe information use.
NCO – Non Commissioned Officer. The well trained backbone of any armed force. Lance Corporal, Corporal, Sergeant, Warrant Officer are some examples.
MBT – Main Battle Tank. During WWII tanks were classified as Light, Medium, Heavy (dependant on weight). Post WWII saw the introduction of this classification to identify tanks that would be used in the main line of battle.
ERA – Explosive Reactive Armour. Strap on (steady!!) armour plates for armoured vehicles. Used to defeat anti-armour munitions and increase survivability of the vehicle.
SAM – Surface to Air Missile. Ground launched guided anti-aircraft missile. Examples include Rapier, HAWK and SA-20.
CAS – Close Air Support. Mission undertaken by air forces to provide close range fire support from the air to ground forces.
AWACS – Airborne Warning And Control System. A big flying long range radar, used to provide surveillance and control of the air domain. Examples include E-3D Sentry and the A-50 Mainstay
SLOC – Sea Lines Of Communication. Sea based communications/trade routes/transport routes between nations.
SCS – South China Sea.