Things You Should Know About NATO Stock Number

The NSN system can be dated back to the WWII era when the military would use a specific component that had several different names depending on who supplied or manufactured the component. This made it difficult for the military to locate suppliers, or share items between the different organizational branches. An item could be in short supply in one location, but in surplus in another. To overcome this sourcing issue, the Department of Defense created the NSN system. National Stock Numbers or NSNs, are 13-digit serial numbers assigned to all standardized items within the federal supply chain. All components that are used by the U.S Department of Defense are required to have an NSN, the purpose of which is to provide a standardized naming of components.

Also known as NATO stock numbers, NSNs are recognized by all NATO countries. The NSN can be further broken down into smaller subcategories, each providing individual information about the component. To begin, the first four digits of the NSN are known as the Federal Supply Classification Group. The FSCG determines which of the 645 subclasses an item belongs to. The FSCG is further split into the Federal Supply Group (FSG) and the Federal Supply Classification (FSC). The FSG is made up of the first two digits of the NSN which determines which of the 78 groups an item belongs to. The second 2 digits make up the FSC, which determines the subclass an item belongs to. In the aerospace industry a key federal supply group is FSG 15: Aircraft and Airframe Structural Components. The remaining 9 digits are made up of the 2-digit country identifier followed by the 7 National Item Identification Number (NIIN). The US for example, has the country identifier 00.

A manufacturer can not simply request an NSN. An item must first be formally recognized by one of the following bodies; Military service, NATO country, federal or civil agency, or various contractor support weapon systems. Once they have a specific need for the specific part, the details are then sent over to the DLA for assignment. There are 10s of millions of items with NSNs. They aren’t just assigned to one component either. In fact, entire systems are assigned their own NSN. Aircraft turbine engine have one NSN, while the smaller components of the system have their own. The purpose of this system is to help expedite maintenance and repair programs. To help manage the vast amount of NSNs, each NSN is assigned an item manager, who monitors the stock and supply of the NSN, ensuring that it is readily available military purposes.

Due to the sheer amount of NSNs, the DLA relies on suppliers to source and stock NSNs for various applications. Aerospace Unlimited, owned and operated ASAP Semiconductor, is a premier supplier of NSNs for the aerospace and defense industries. Our large inventory is conveniently listed on our website under various categories such as Federal Supply Groups, CAGE codes, and the manufacturers. Our team of dedicated staff can help find the exact NSN that you need. Visit our website, https://www.aerospaceunlimited.com/, or call us at +1-412-212-0606 to source NSNs today.


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November 29, 2019

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