MIL Specifications

By: CableOrganizer®

Military Specifications, commonly abbreviated MIL-SPECs (and sometimes referred to as Military Standards or MIL-STDs) are standards that military agencies like the United States Department of Defense refer to for quality and technical guidelines. These regulations have a focus on safety. They are precise, detailed, and meant to increase the sustainability of equipment. These specs are requirements for military equipment to live up to harsh environments, where items in these settings are challenged during each day of use. Items with these designations undergo robust testing to ensure compliance, including those for shock and vibration, to provide these products keep performing in extreme military settings.

When it comes to cable management and similar products available from CableOrganizer®, the following MIL-SPECs are essential, and include:


ASTM (an acronym for the organization formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials) has developed material standards for various industries and applications that apply to military specs. The numbers below reflect the type of material (coded with the letter), the three-digit sequential number assigned to the standard, and the final two-digit number after the dash, which is the year the standard was created or revised:

  • ASTM D570-22
    A standard document that covers the water absorption of all types of plastics in water or other humid environments.
  • ASTM D638-22
    Standard that gives requirements for the tensile strength, tensile modulus, strain, and elongation of plastics such as polyethylene.
  • ASTM D792-20
    A standard that deals with the specific gravity of injection-molded and extruded materials, films, and sheeting products.
  • ASTM-D2256/D2256M-21
    A standard for the tensile properties of monofilament, multifilament, and spun yarns that are either single, plied or cabled.
  • ASTM-D4157-13R22
    Standard for the abrasion resistance of woven textile fabrics.
  • ASTM E595-15R21
    A standard for the Total Mass Loss and Collected Volatile Condensable Materials occurring from outgassing in a vacuum environment.
  • ASTM-E0662-21AE01
    A test standard for the determination of a material's smoke density rating.


ATA is an acronym associated with Airlines for America, which was previously known as the Air Transportation Association of America, an entity founded in 1936, which created standards for aviation.

  • ATA Spec 300
    An Air Transportation Association document, with the most current revision number 2020.1, sets standards for shipping cases intended for use in air transport. Products that are compliant have the proven capability to withstand the stress of being shipped a minimum of 100 times.


DEF STAN is short for “Defence Standard,” which is one for the British military through the United Kingdom’s Military of Defence (MOD).

  • DEF STAN 81-41
    A Defense Standard document, which defines requirements for packaging used in the storage and transport of military and NATO materials.


FCC is the abbreviation for the United States Federal Communications Commission, with standards relating to electronic equipment for communications part of the military standards.

  • FCC Part 15, Class A
    This is a standard that is part of the Code of Federal Regulations that governs the amount of electromagnetic interference (EMI) allowed to come from computers and other electronic devices used in commercial settings.


GSA or the General Services Administration, is an independent United States government agency that was created to support other government agencies.

  • L-P-390
    A spec under the GSA that replaces MIL-P-22748, a canceled military standard covering plastic, polyethylene and copolymers, high density, molding, and extrusion material.


IEC or the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) comes up with standards for Ingress Protection (IP) that show the degree of protection provided against the ingress of solids and liquids for an enclosure.

  • IP67
    An Ingress Protection rating, which indicates that a specific product is dust-tight and should remain watertight for the duration of one hour when submerged at a depth of 1 meter (3.28 feet).


IEEE is short for Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the professional organization for the engineering and technology sectors. Some of the military standards, including those for radio frequency (RF) connectors, transitioned to this technological organization.

  • IEEE 287-1968
    This standard is one of several industry and commercial standards that have replaced MIL-C-39012, formerly for military grade RF connectors. This standard is for coaxial connectors.
  • IEEE 287-2007
    This standard is one of several industry and commercial standards that have replaced MIL-C-39012, formerly for military grade RF connectors. This standard is for coaxial cable assemblies.


IPC is short for the Association Connecting Electronics Industries that provides standards for electronics suppliers.

  • IPC-CC-830
    This standard is a replacement for the military spec MIL-I-46058C type SR, associated with non-drip silicone rubber gels.


MIL Specs, which are those preceded with “MIL,” meet the performance, quality, and safety standards of the United States military branches for equipment, systems, and materials.

  • MIL-C-3432
    A military standard that gives requirements for portable power and control cables.
  • MIL-C-4150J
    An Air Force military specification document, which gives requirements for rigid, reusable, fire retardant, water and water vapor-proof rectangular cases made of metals, non-metallic materials, fiberglass-reinforced plastics, or other composites.
  • MIL-C-13909
    A military standard that gives specifications for electrical-shielded, flexible metal conduit.
  • MIL-C-24643
    A military standard originated by the US Navy, which gives requirements for low-smoke and flame-retardant cabling that is intended for use in ship modernization projects and new constructions.
  • MIL-C-27072
    Military standard for multi-purpose electrical cables.
  • MIL-C-27500
    A military standard that applies to wires, shielding and jackets used in special-purpose and electrical power cables.
  • MIL-C-4150J
    • This is a military standard for rigid, reusable, fire retardant, waterproof and water-vapor proof, rectangular storage cases, often to transfer sensitive military electronics and communication equipment.
  • MIL-DTL-17
    A standard document previously known as MIL-C-17 for coaxial cable specified for use by the military.
  • MIL-I-23053/4, Class 1
    This is a 3:1 polyolefin tubing standard for tubing with a heat melt single wall.
  • MIL-I-631
    A military standard giving requirements for synthetic resin electrical insulation.
  • MIL-I-3190
    The military standard that gives requirements for flexible, coated electrical insulation fiberglass braided sleeving.
  • MIL-I-7444
    A military standard covering flexible sleeving for electrical insulation.
  • MIL-PRF-46846C
    A performance based standard requirement for the design, construction, performance, and materials in military and aerospace connectors. This standard replaced MIL-R-46846. The “PRF” abbreviation stands for “Performance Specification.”
  • MIL-STD-883L
    This standard is to establish test methods for microcircuits and microelectronic devices.
  • MIL-T-43435
    A military standard for lacing and tying tape for aerospace and military applications.
  • MIL-W-76
    The military standard that gives general specifications for insulated electrical hookup wires and cabling.
  • MIL-W-5086
    This is the military standard for PVC-insulated copper and copper-alloy electrical wire.
  • MIL-W-16878
    A military standard for various military and aerospace electrical wire.
  • MIL-W-81381
    This is the military standard for various types of fluorocarbon or polyamide insulated electrical wire.


SAE is the acronym for the Society of Automotive Engineers, an organization that represents automotive, commercial vehicle, and aerospace industries. Some of the standards have replaced military specifications.

  • SAE-AMS-T-81914
    This standard replaced MIL-T-81914, which were general requirements for flexible PTFE plastic convoluted tubing. SAE-AMS-T-81914 is an industry standard for the tubing in aircraft wire harnesses.
  • SAE-AS33681E
    This standard applies to straps, and tiedowns for electrical components, including cable ties, that are adjustable, self-clinching, and plastic.
  • SAE-AS81044
    This standard superseded MIL-W-81044, which referred to cross-linked polyethylene wires and cables for aerospace and military applications. SAE-AS81044 refers to the design, construction, materials, and components for these systems.
  • SAE-AS81822
    This standard superseded MIL-W-81822, which gave requirements for insulated and uninsulated solder-less wrap electrical wire. SAE-AS81822 is one of the comparable standards the Department of Defense adopted to transition to some industry standards.
  • SAE-AS22759
    This standard replaces MIL-W-22759, which were requirements for fluoropolymer-insulated electrical wire to be made of copper or copper alloy. SAE-AS22759 states fluoropolymer-insulated aerospace wires should be made of these materials, as well as tin, silver, or nickel-coated conductors. The insulation should be polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP), polyvinylidene fluoride (PVF2), ethylene-tetraflouroethylene copolymer (ETFE), and other fluoropolymer resins.
  • SAE-AS83519
    This standard is for low-loss, high-frequency coaxial cables, and replaces the military standard MIL-S-83519, which was for solder-style, heat-shrinkable, environment-resistant, insulated shield termination.


STANAG is a Standardization Agreement under NATO or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. NATO sets its own rules and standards for various military items.

  • STANAG 4280
    A NATO standard for levels of packaging, specifically that packaging meets the same standards to prevent damage to the items being transported.


TIA is the acronym for the Telecommunications Industry Association, with some industry and commercial standards under it having replaced certain military standards.

  • TIA-568, Revision E
    A standard for radio frequency (RF) connectors that is one of several industry and commercial standards that have replaced MIL-C-39012, formerly for military grade connectors. TIA-568 is for structured cabling and telecommunications.
  • TIA-603, Revision E
    A standard that is one of several industry and commercial standards that have replaced MIL-C-39012, formerly for military grade RF connectors. This standard is for radio equipment performance standards.
  • TIA-864, Revision D
    A standard that details definitions, methods of measurement, and minimum performance requirements for cdma2000 access networks.
  • TIA-1039, Revision A
    This document provides a quality of service (QoS) signaling standard for use within IPv4 and IPv6 network-layer protocols. This mechanism will allow the necessary resources to be allocated to a flow (or group or flows) as they traverse the network.


UL is an acronym began for the former Underwriters Laboratories — an entity now known as UL Solutions. UL Solutions now has the UL Standards & Engagements segment of the organization, which houses all its standards.

  • UL 1363, Edition 6
    This standard from UL Solutions covers indoor-use, plug-connected, relocatable power taps that are rated at 250 V/AC or less, and 20A/AC or less.
  • UL 1778, Edition 5
    This standard from UL Solutions provides continuity guidelines for Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems.

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