View Full Version : Couple Random Questions

23 Sep 03,, 07:22
Why do most of the USN's ships have two letters that are the same in the prefix? BB, DDG, FFG, SSN, SSBN, SSGN. You guys get my question?

What does it mean when someone reads you five-by-five? What exactly is the scale?

I've heard of 1MC, 5MC. What are all the MC's?

23 Sep 03,, 16:23
Darn good questions. I'm having a hard as hell time finding out the answers too. I'm sure the ex-military guys can tell exactly what 5 by 5 means. Probably 5 out of possible 5 on the reliability scale or something like that...or not.

Here are the "MCs" for Damage Control (DC)


More to follow as I find them

23 Sep 03,, 21:08
Originally posted by bigross86
Why do most of the USN's ships have two letters that are the same in the prefix? BB, DDG, FFG, SSN, SSBN, SSGN. You guys get my question?

What does it mean when someone reads you five-by-five? What exactly is the scale?

I've heard of 1MC, 5MC. What are all the MC's?

B stands for battleship, D stands for destroyer, F for Frigate, S for Submarine.

BB = Battleship Battleship (Battleship)
DDG = Destroyer Destroyer Guided missile (Guided Missile Destroyer)
SSN = Submarine Submarine Nuclear (Nuclear Powered Submarine)
SSBN = Submarine Submarine Ballistic missile Nuclear (Nuclear Powered Ballistic Missile Submarine)

The reason for two letters is to denote that is is a straightup frigate, battleship, destroyer, submarine, etc., not a light or heavy one.

Base Designations Suffixes are added to these to create complete designations. Where no suffix is used, the initial letter is used twice (i.e. DD). A suffix is often added to an existing two- or three-letter abbreviation at a later date (i.e. DDG, AGF, SSGN).
A -- Auxiliaries
B -- Battleship/battlecruiser
C -- Cruiser
CV -- Aircraft Carrier (originally a cruiser derivative)
D -- Destroyer
F -- Frigate
L -- Amphibious ships (derived from "L" for "Landing")
M -- Mine craft
P -- Patrol craft
S -- Submarine
Y -- Yard craft
Suffixes These and others are added to base designations to create complete designations. Many suffixes (i.e. M) have many meanings; only the most common modern-usage meanings are listed. Suffix meanings as applied to yard (Y) craft are not included in this list.
A -- Attack or Auxiliary
B -- Ballistic Missile
C -- Command/Control
D -- Destroyer or Dock
E -- Escort (combatants); Ammunition (auxiliaries)
F -- Fast or Fleet or Refrigerated Stores or Fire Support
G -- Guided Missile (AAW) (large vessels) or Gun (small vessels)
H -- Helicopter or Hospital
K -- Cargo
L -- Light
M -- Missile (surface-to-surface) or Missile Tracking
N -- Nuclear Power
O -- Oil (tanker)
P -- Personnel/Troop Transport
R -- Repair or Replenishment or Roll-On/Roll-Off (cargo)
S -- Surveying or Salvage or Submarine
T -- Tug or Transport
U -- Utility
V -- Heavier-Than-Air (later fixed wing) Aircraft or Vehicle (transport)
W -- Water

Aircraft Carriers
CV -- Aircraft Carrier
CVA -- Attack Aircraft Carrier
CVAN -- Nuclear Powered Attack Aircraft Carrier
CVE -- Escort Aircraft Carrier
CVL -- Light Aircraft Carrier
CVN -- Nuclear Powered Aircraft Carrier
CVS -- ASW Aircraft Carrier (sometimes Seaplane Carrier, esp. WWII)
Major Surface Combatants
BB -- Battleship
BC -- Battlecruiser (unofficial)
CA -- Heavy Cruiser
CB -- Large Cruiser
CG -- Guided Missile Cruiser
CGN -- Nuclear Powered Guided Missile Cruiser
CL -- Light Cruiser
CLAA -- AntiAircraft Cruiser
DD -- Destroyer
DDG -- Guided Missile Destroyer
DE -- Destroyer Escort
FF -- Frigate
FFG -- Guided Missile Frigate
SS -- Submarine
SSBN -- Nuclear Powered Ballistic Missile Submarine
SSG -- Guided Missile Submarine
SSGN -- Nuclear Powered Guided Missile Submarine
SSK -- Hunter-Killler Submarine
SSN -- Nuclear Powered Submarine
SSQ -- Communications or ELINT submarine (unofficial)
SSQN --Nuclear Powered Communications or ELINT submarine (unofficial)
Ampbibious/Landing Ships
LCC -- Amphibious Command Ship
LHA -- Amphibious Assault Ship
LHD -- Amphibious Assault Ship
LKA -- Amphibious Cargo Ship
LPA -- Amphibious Personnel Transport
LPD -- Amphibious Transport Dock
LPH -- Amphibious Assault Helicopter Carrier
LSD -- Dock Landing Ship
LST -- Tank Landing Ship
Mine Vessels
CM -- Minelayer (derived from Cruiser-Minelayer)
DM -- Destroyer Minelayer (or light minelayer or high-speed minelayer)
DMS -- High Speed Minesweeper (derived from Destroyer-Minesweeper)
MCM -- Mine Countermeasures Ship
MCS -- Mine Countermeasures Support Ship
MF -- Fleet Minelayer
MHC -- Coastal Minehunter
MSB -- Minesweeping Boat
MSC -- Coastal Minesweeper
MSO -- Ocean Minesweeper
Minor Surface Combatants
PC -- Coastal Patrol Craft
PF -- Patrol Frigate
PG -- Patrol Gunboat
PGM -- Missile Patrol Boat
PT -- Torpedo Boat
PTF -- Fast Patrol Boat
AD -- Destroyer Tender
AE -- Ammunition Ship
AF -- Refrigerated Stores Ship
AFS -- Combat Stores Ship
AG -- Miscellaneous Auxiliary
AGF -- Flagship
AGOR -- Oceanographic Research Ship
AGS -- Surveying Ship
AK -- Cargo Ship
AO -- Fleet Oiler
AOE -- Fast Combat Support Ship
AOR -- Replenishment Oiler
AR -- Repair Ship
ARS -- Salvage Ship
AS -- Submarine Tender
ATF -- Fleet Tug
AV -- Seaplane Tender
AVT -- Aircraft Transport, later Training Aircraft Carrier

23 Sep 03,, 21:31
To that very nice list I'll mention a few other tidbits of info.
The designation for aircraft carrier would would think, should be CA (Carrier, Aviation) but CA was also used for Cruiser, Heavy (or Cruiser, Armored), so they simply took the 2nd letter of the word aviation and there you have it!
Also, the Alaska-class cruisers are usually referred to as battlecruisers but they did not carry the CC designator like the cancelled Lexington-class battlecruisers. However they were far too large to be considered 'heavy cruisers' (CA) and so they were called just that: 'Large Cruisers' or CB.
To further muck up the waters, when the Soviet Kirov-class cruisers came out, they were often referred to informally as 'BCGNs' or Battle Cruiser Guided-Missile Nuclear Powered.

25 Sep 03,, 00:06
thanks for the input Iron

25 Sep 03,, 07:17
A carrier in today's navy is a CVA(Carrier Vessel Attack). If it's a nuke, add an N.

CA is 'Cruiser Assault'.....i think. ;)

5x5 means everything is good to go. I think this is mainly pilot jargon, but i've heard that said in the army a few times, and it always meant basicly "A OK"

I have no idea what the 5's represent, or the origon of the term, though i would be interested to know.

25 Sep 03,, 08:52
Wierd, cuz I've also heard/read stuff like reading someone 3X5, 1X1, etc...

25 Sep 03,, 14:16
Well, the various designators for carriers went something kinda like this:

The CVB designation was established within the original CV designation July 15, 1943
CVA replaced CV and CVB October 1,1952
CV and CVN replaced CVA and CVAN June 30,1975
The CVS designation was discontinued 1974.
The CVL designation was established within the original CV designation July 15,1943.
The CVL designation was discontinued May 15,1959.

The above information was shamelessly ripped off of Guy's website at warships1.com :blush
(warships1 is finally back up! Yay!)
As far as I know, the CA stood for Cruiser Armored or Cruiser, Heavy.

26 Sep 03,, 15:05
OK, finally got a good answer to the MC questions. Apparently, MC stands for Multi-Channel. This link HERE (www.qsl.net/bb62/Ship's_Comms_Circuits.pdf) is provided courtesy of Peter Greene of the Battleship New Jersey Amateur Radio Station. I'm not sure if this list is just for the Jersey or for what time era it's for but it should give you a good idea of what MC comms are all about.

Edit: I'm not sure why that URL didnt convert to a hyperlink, but here it is again www.qsl.net/bb62/Ship's_Comms_Circuits.pdf

26 Sep 03,, 16:33
Didn't work because you have an apostrophe in the web address. Apparently forums don't like that.

:sniper :dbanana

26 Sep 03,, 16:40
Dang! Did the link itself work by cutting and pasting?

26 Sep 03,, 18:20
Yeah, the address itself brings up the *.pdf file, but I'm assuming that it's just the forum that doesn't like apostrophes in the URLs.

Does the forum allow HTML?

30 Sep 03,, 01:25
5 by 5 refered, if memory serves, to signal strength and clarity. Perhaps some radio buff out there could confirm/refute this?