How to find the Military NSN of an Electronic Part with Aviation Distribution?

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. 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.

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.

At Aviation Distribution, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we stock over 2 billion new and obsolete NSNs applicable with the defense industry. Because searching through long lists of NSNs can be daunting and time consuming, we incorporated an easy-to-use search engine that allows our customers to type in the exact NSN they need. Alternatively, our customers can take their time browsing through the NSNs, which are conveniently grouped under their corresponding FSC. All of the NSNs that we supply and ship are sourced from premier industry manufacturers. At Aviation Distribution we understand the implications behind high quality assurance standards associated with mil.spec. We are an FAA AC-0056B accredited and ISO 9001:2015 distributor, as well as a trusted a PPRIS contractor.

Our team of industry experts are on hand to answer any questions that you may have. We can cross-reference NSNs with CAGE codes and part numbers, so you can avoid any costly purchasing mistakes. With a streamlined shipping and supply chain that spans across North America and Canada, we can deliver your part in no time at all. We can handle any time-sensitive AOG situations with ease. We make NSN procurement as simple as possible. Visit our website,, today and see for yourself.


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