Phonetic Alphabet For Radio Comms (A to Z)

Military, maritime, aviation and emergency services use the Phonetic alphabet so there are fewer mistakes in the transmission of critical information. The phonetic alphabet or word spelling alphabet (International International Civil Aviation Organization Phonetic Alphabet) is used in operations where clear communication is paramount.

If you’ve ever tried giving street directions on the phone that include and are not limited to email address, username, password, or a street address you’ve probably ended up spelling out words. This is exactly why the phonetic alphabet exists for radio comms.

The Phonetic alphabet assigns each letter in the alphabet a word; some numbers have variations in how they are pronounced. Following is the Phonetic alphabet.

Phonetic Alphabet

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

Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Juliet, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, Xray, Yankee, Zulu.

Phonetic Numbers

  • 1-Wun
  • 2-Too
  • 3- Tree
  • 4-Fo Wer
  • 5-Fife
  • 6-Six
  • 7-Sev En
  • 8-Ait
  • 9-Nin Er
  • 0-Ze Ro
  • 100-Hun Dred
  • 1000-Tou Sand
NumberWordPronunciation
0ZeroZe Ro
1OneWun
2TwoToo
3ThreeTree
4FourFo Wer
5FiveFife
6SixSix
7SevenSev En
8EightAit
9NineNin Er
100HundredHun Dred
1000ThousandTou Sand

What is the Phonetic Alphabet?

The phonetic alphabet uses words in place of letters when communicating via radio. Using words instead of letters when speaking on a radio makes for fewer errors when transmitting in combat or emergencies and fewer misunderstandings. For example, instead of saying “ABCD” in your call sign, you’d say Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta.

What is the Phonetic Alphabet Used For?

The phonetic alphabet was used initially by military radioman to pass messages along clearly. Transmitting on the radio with static or a poor radio signal leads to confusion and mistranslated information. Words are used in place of letters because certain letters in the alphabet sound similar.

For example, Bravo, Delta, and Echo are less likely to be confused in transmission than the letters B, D, and E, which sound similar.

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