Phonetic Alphabet



The ARRL and many other national entities recommend the NATO phonetics for Amateur Radio use as most Hams around the world recognize them. This alphabet dates from about 1955 and is approved by the International Civil Aviation Organization, the FAA and the International Telecommunication Union, and many National Amateur Leagues/Societies/Orgs. Note that different bodies prefer different spellings. As a matter of reference — see URL:  NATO phonetic alphabet From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The NATO phonetic alphabet was developed in the 1950s to be intelligible (and pronounceable) to all NATO allies. It replaced other phonetic alphabets, for example the US military Joint Army/Navy Phonetic Alphabet (“able baker”) and several versions of RAF phonetic alphabets. It is sometimes inappropriately referred to as International Phonetic Alphabet, which is actually the official name of an alphabet used in linguistics created in the late nineteenth century.

The NATO phonetic alphabet is now widely used in business and telecommunications in Europe and North America, and has been approved by ICAO for use in international civil aviation. It has been adopted by the ITU,  (many radio operators will refer to the NATO phonetics as ITU phonetics). Although it consists of English words, its letter codewords can easily be recognized by speakers of languages other than English.

The NATO phonetic alphabet is generally understood by Amateurs in all countries. Used when giving your callsign or passing information that must be spelled out for clarity. For example, I would sign WHISKEY FOUR ALPHA TANGO XRAY.

A – Alpha N – November
B – Bravo O – Oscar
C – Charlie P – Papa
D – Delta Q – Quebec
E – Echo R – Romeo
F – Foxtrot S – Sierra
G – Golf T – Tango
H – Hotel U – Uniform
I – India V – Victor
J – Juliet W – Whiskey
K – Kilo X – Xray
L – Lima Y – Yankee
M – Mike Z – Zulu