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Equipment of the Armed Forces of Great Britain

From 1929 to 1948, the radio sets of the United Kingdom Armed Forces bore designations along the lines of „Wireless Set No.XX „.

Nomenclature of United Kingdom Military Material

Nomenclature of the earliest equipment

In the early days of military radio communications, British equipment sometimes bore designations indicating the transmitting power, plus a letter from A for near-frontline use in ascending order in the case of equipment for rearward use, M denoted mobile stations.

Nomenclature of "Wireless Sets" 1929/48

In 1929, a new nomenclature was introduced: The six sets introduced in 1929 were given numbers denoting the distance of use. Set. No.1 was intended for short-distance communications, the No.6 set for worldwide connections.

With the new sets introduced from 1930 onwards, the second digit in the designation stood for the operating distance (x1 for short distance, x6 for long distance), the first digit or prefix increased with each set generation.
For new devices whose development was not yet completed, the future designation was preceded by X.

Type of unit / purposeDesignationSuccessor units
Short Range Brigade; Artillery/GPNo. 111, 21, 31, etc.
Short Range Division/GPNo. 212, 22, 62, etc.
Medium operating distance, mobile stationsNo. 323, 33, 43, etc.
Remote distance, transportable stations, GHQNo. 515
Remote distance, transportable stations of the Army chainNo. 6
later: long distance, special tasksNo. 2636, 46, 76, etc.
Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV)No. 7
later: special tasksNo. 1727, 37, 47, etc.
Portable equipment in infantry battalion, „manpack set“No. 818, 28, 38, etc.
Armoured Fighting Vehicle, (AFV)No. 919, 29, 49, etc.
Local control unit for AFV (armoured fighting vehicles)No. 1424, 34
Jamming Set, jammerNo. 1656
UHF device, effective distance optical visibilityNo. 1020

Canadian devices without identical British equivalent were given a designation with prefix C.

Australian devices with an identical British equivalent were given a prefix from the 100 - group, for example Wireless Set 101 instead of W.S. 1.

Nomenclature of the British devices of the Larkspur series

The following generations of the Larkspur series were given a designation consisting of a letter and two digits between 1950/1976.

Power class Designation
Low powerportable, under 5 wattsAxx
Medium powerlight mobile stations, approx. 10 - 20 wattsBxx
Medium powerheavy mobile stations, approx. 20 - 50 wattsCxx
High powerTruck stations, over 100 WDxx

The numbering was in ascending order; numbers below 30 stand for shortwave stations and numbers above 30 for VHF stations.

Receiving sets were given a designation consisting of the above and /Rxxx with numbers in ascending order.

Nomenclature of the British sets of the Clansman and Bowman series

From 1976 onwards, the British units were given new designations based on the American NATO classification, UK/PRC-3xx stands for portable units and UK/VRC-3xx for vehicle and fixed stations.

In the case of older equipment that continued to be used, UK/VRC-3xx or UK/PRC-3xx was prefixed to the previous number from the Larkspur series, while new equipment was given unused free numbers.

further information

Many thanks to Louis Meulstee and Iain Moffat.

Military Receivers from Great Britain

PCR1944Single conversionLW, MW, SW 5.8-18 MHzAM
R107approx. 1940Single conversionKW 1.2 - 17.5 MHzAM, CW
R11551940Single conversion75 kHz - 18.5 MHzAM; direction finding and homing

Further information on Reception Sets

Military communication sets from Great Britain

Wireless Set No.121940Transmitter1.2 - 17.5 MHzTransmitter A1, A2, A3
Wireless Set No.191941Transceiver2 - 8 MHz, VHF 229-241 MHzTransceiver A1, A2, A3
Wireless Set No.311948Transceiver40 - 48 MHzF3
Wireless Set No.331941Transmitter1.2 - 17.5 MHzTransmitter A1, A2, A3
Wireless Set No.621941Transceiver1.6 - 10 MHzTransceiver A1, A3

Further information on Wireless Sets

en/british_military_equipment.txt · Zuletzt geändert: 2021/04/13 14:09 von mb