Phonetic Alphabet

Table 1: Phonetic alphabet
Letter Description Letter Description
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 X-ray
L Lima Y Yankee
M Mike Z Zulu

The International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet, commonly known as the NATO or ICAO phonetic alphabet, was initially developed to improve communication, particularly on low-quality or long-distance communication systems. It has been in its current form since 1956 having been revised several times since spelling alphabets first came into use before World War One. Early versions contained words such as Delta and eXtra, and Nectar and Victor, and therefore could easily be misheard over the radio.8

Apparent spelling mistakes such as the f in Alfa and tt in Juliett are intentional and designed to ensure correct pronunciation.

There is also international convention for pronunciation of numerals across radio communications, as follows:9

0 Zero 5 Fife
1 Wun 6 Six
2 Too 7 Seven
3 Tree 8 Ait
4 Fower 9 Niner