Misuse of military acronyms

"AWACS" is not a class of aircraft types with long range radars. It's a very specific aircaft type with this mission (E-3 "Sentry") in NATO. The class of such aircraft types and versions is being called AEW&C (airborne early warning and control).

"MLRS" is not a class or multiple rocket launchers. It's a specific type of such artillery vehicles, the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System.
Multiple Rocket Launchers are "MRL", plural could be "MRLs".

"Stinger" is but a single type of ManPADS (man-portable air-defense system).

What some people call a "underwater USV" (unmanned surface vehicle) is an "UUV" (unmanned underwater vehicle) actually.

So-called weapons which can be used but once (such as the M72 and its Soviet equivalents, DM34 etc) are no "weapons"; they are "munitions". There are no "chemical weapons" or "nuclear weapons" really - all of them are munitions actually (and the effective components of chemical and biological munitions are "agents").

A "weapon of mass destruction" is a munition for an explosive nuclear fission (even "H-bombs include a fission device as first stage). Chemical and biological agents are no WMD. Pipe bombs are no WMD. The early inflation of "WMD" terminology was Neocon newspeak, used for deception, misleading suggestion and lies. The later "WMD" inflation was about the FBI's (and ATF's) bureaucratic authority-grabbing through excessive law interpretations and exploitation of hysteria.

These misuses annoyed me many, many times. I understand when non-specialised journalists get this wrong, but it's annoying when people with great interest in military affairs do so as well.

Now what I keep getting wrong myself:

A submarine with air-independent propulsion are not an "AIP SSK" as I usually call it. The correct acronym is "SSI" - but hardly anybody appears to use it (yet).

I insist on "aerial drone" or "UAV" instead of the more fashionable "UAS".

I also prefer the old "CS" (combat support) and "CSS" (combat service support - the ones that are not meant to shoot) over plain "sustainment" as well.


To Germans and Austrians: Not every portable weapon (or munition) for use against tanks is a "Panzerfaust". Man-portable overcalibre munitions (warhead bigger calibre than tube) with no sustainer rocket are a "Panzerfaust". The ones with sustainer (or acceleration) rocket are RPGs. The breech-loaded ones with a movable tube tail section such as the Carl Gustav are recoilless guns ("rückstoßfreie Geschütze", früher "Leichtgeschütze"). The things with extendable or non-extendable tube and munition inside are bazookas.


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