skip to main content

Five Eyes allies employ electronic intelligence notations for unique emissions

Five Eyes nations’ electronic intelligence (ELINT) operators use a previously little-known system, called ELINT notations (ELNOTs), to identify the unique emissions from radar and other non-communications systems, according to a series of recent publications

The existence of this classification system was revealed in partially redacted articles in the US National Security Agency’s Cryptolog magazine dating from the 1980s, and also touched upon in academic papers published recently by the US Naval Postgraduate School. The Five Eyes countries are Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

ELINT operators using voice communications (R/T or intercomm) to report radar activity to non-signals intelligence combat units still typically use NATO Air Standards Co-ordinating Committee (ASCC) reporting names for radars, such as ‘Foxfire’ for the export MiG-25’s radar.

In addition to the radar sets having a NATO reporting name, the distinctive emissions from those radars and non-communications weapon systems also have codenames. These codenames, or ELNOTs, are used by the Five Eyes ELINT community and consist of a four- or five-character identifier “assigned to each non-communication emission for collection and reporting purposes”, according to unclassified ‘106 Operational Electronic Intelligence Fundamentals’ flashcards.

These ELINT notations usually comprise a letter prefix (A for airborne, B for ground-based, or C for ship-borne) followed by a three-digit catalogue number, and often have an alphabetical suffix. A later series of ELNOTs use the prefix F.

As an example, Janes

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...