The NATO Alphabet is a system of code words that are used to represent the letters of the English alphabet in oral communication, especially over radio or telephone. The code words are designed to be easily distinguishable from each other, regardless of language barriers or connection quality. The NATO Alphabet is also known as the International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet, the ICAO Phonetic Alphabet, or the ITU Phonetic Alphabet, because it has been adopted by various international organizations such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The NATO Alphabet was developed in 1956, after several years of testing and refinement by different agencies. The code words were chosen to be accessible to speakers of English, French and Spanish.
The NATO Alphabet consists of 26 code words, one for each letter of the English alphabet, as follows: