- National Item Identification Number
A National (or NATO) Item Identification Number (NIIN) is a 9-digit numeric code which uniquely identifies an item of supply in the NATO Codification System (NCS).
The NIIN is often prefixed by the NATO Supply Class (NSC aka FSC) to form a National Stock Number (NSN), however the NIIN alone uniquely identifies the item, the FSC merely adds context by indicating the general classification of the item.
The NIIN’s Data Record Number (DRN), in the NCS metabase is 4000. The information listed under in this DRN identifies very specifically the nature of NIIN, its syntax and the procedures associated with it.
Format and Syntax
The NIIN may be formatted with dashes, as follows
This format improves readability but is optional as NIINs are often listed without dashes.
The first two digits of the NIIN identify the National Codification Bureau (NCB). The NCB is the entity, typically a government agency, in charge of maintaining the NCS database within a given country. The other 7 characters are a non significant identification number (actually code, as some of these characters may be alphanumeric, although in general NIINs are strictly numeric.) Following are a few examples of NCB codes:
Country NCB Code(s) USA 00 to 09 Germany 12 Belgium 13 France 14 Italy 15 Czech Republic 16 Netherlands 17 South Africa 18 Brazil 19 Canada 20 and 21 Denmark 22 Greece 23 Iceland 24 Norway 25 Portugal 26 Turkey 27 Luxemburg 28 Argentina 29 Japan 30 Israel 31 Singapore 32 Spain 33 Malaysia 34 Thailand 35 Egypt 36 Republic of Korea 37 Estonia 38 Romania 39 Slovakia 40 Austria 41 Slovenia 42 Poland 43 United Nations 44 Indonesia 45 Phillipines 46 Lithuania 47 Fiji 48 Tonga 49 Bulgaria 50 Hungary 51 Chile 52 Croatia 53 Macedonia 54 Latvia 55 Oman 56 Australia 66 Saudi Arabia 70 United Arab Emirates 71 New Zealand 98 United Kingdom 99
As the list shows, users of the NCS system not only include NATO member countries, but NATO-sponsored countries as well.
Note also the clever relationship between the Aussie and the Brit nationality indicators. Smart thinking to assist memory, or stumblingly accidental good fortune ?
NIIN / NSN Catalogs include a significant number of items directly associated with military equipment in general, as well as items of a more generic use. These include Electronic Components, Medical Equipment, Office Furniture, Food items, Clothing, Industrial goods (pumps, valves, motors...) and all kinds of Fasteners (bolts, nails, rivets...), to name a few. For this reason, catalogs have a broader appeal, beyond their original audience (Defense agencies and their direct contractors.)
The US Catalog covers in the order of 6 Millions NIINs (Items of Supply) for a total of 13 Millions Items of Production (Part Number + Manufacturer reference).
NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA), compiles on a regular basis the catalogs of several member nations, for the production of the NATO Master Catalogue of References for Logistics (NMCRL). This combined catalog, totaling 16 Million NIINs for approximately 32 Million Parts, is then published on DVD.
Several companies or governmental agencies publish NIIN Catalogs online or on other media. These catalogs vary greatly in term of the completeness of the information as some items and/or some segments of information may be excluded, for [USA] Security reasons or simply for lack of interest by the target audience. The distribution of these catalogs vary also in terms of the subscription cost and access or export restrictions. Some merely provide a "Part Number" lookup, while others offer advanced features such as parametric search (Search of items driven by the technical characteristics such as physical dimensions, material, color etc.) or links to associated data set.
Federal Supply Code
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