What is an NSN?

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If you’ve heard of NATO products, like slave cables and plugs, you might be wondering, “What is the NSN meaning?” An NSN NATO Stock Number is a 13-digit number used to locate a standardized Item of Supply (IoS) for easy recognition by NATO countries and certain non-NATO countries. This includes the United States of America. Read on and we’ll tell you all about the NSN meaning and other facts about the NSN NATO stock number.

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NATO Stock Numbers Explained

The NSN meaning refers to 13-digit numbers that are divided into three parts, all having a different function:

  • First Four Digits (XXXX): NATO Supply Classification Code
  • Following Two Digits (XX): NATO Code for the National Codification Bureau (NCB)
  • Final Seven Digits (XXX-XXXX): computer-allocated numbers that have no purpose other than to give the Item of Supply a unique number

The NATO Item Identification Number, or NIIN, is often referenced. Simply put, it’s the NATO Code for the National Codification Bureau (NCB), plus the final seven digits. This number will never change, irrespective of where the item is in its lifespan. On the other hand, the first four digits might change if the IoS Classification System changes.

How to Get a NATO Stock Number

Assigning an NSN NATO Stock Number is a government-to-government procedure. This means only government agencies can request an NSN. Furthermore, only a National Codification Bureau (NCB) can assign an NSN to an Item of Supply. To do company-to-government business, the company is required to have a NATO Commercial and Government Entity Code (CAGE/NCAGE). A CAGE/NCAGE is a five-digit code bestowed upon the company by the NCB of the country it’s located in, or by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) if there’s no NCB in said company’s country.

What are the Benefits of NATO Stock Numbers?

You’ll find the following benefits to NATO Stock Numbers:

  • Consistency: NSNs themselves are uniform in length, meaning, and use.
  • Flexibility: The requirements of logistics management systems nationwide and internationally are met.
  • Dependability: An IoS gets one — and only one — NIIN that’s associated with it from the beginning to the end of its lifespan.
  • Usability: NSNs are easily recorded and communicated, be it manually or through an Automatic Data Processing (ADP) system.

Get Your NATO Components at Gateway!

Now that you know the NSN meaning, you’ll be able to contact us to get all your other questions answered. Many products at Gateway conform to NSN NATO Stock Numbers, not to mention U.S. Department of Defense specifications. You can also get started by requesting a quote. If you’ve got a special situation for your business, let Gateway Cable Company be the team to handle all your concerns!