Operational Brevity words, BFM terminology, and Military Aviation Acronyms

Glossary terms starting with "B"

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Battlefield Air Interdiction.


Arresting Cable Prefix (e.g., BAK-9)

Bandit (Radar/Heat/Striker)

Known enemy aircraft and type ordnance capability, if known.




A term used synonymously used with System Altitude. (See System Altitude)

Barrel Roll Maneuver

A vertical rolling maneuver used to reduce aspect angle while keeping sight of the bogey and maintaining nose-tail separation.

Base (Number)

Reference number used to indicate such information as headings, altitudes, fuels, etc.


A tight, high-G change of heading. A reference to the rapid 180-degree Batmobile maneuver in the old Batman television series.




Battlefield Coordination Element.


Bomb Damage Assessment. Summary of enemy surface targets destroyed or damaged.


Bomb Dummy Unit


Base Defense Zone (NATO).

Beam/Beamer (Direction)

Aircraft maneuvering stabilized within 700 to 1100 aspect; generally given with cardinal directions: east, west, north, south.

Beer can

The ECM devices on the C-model LEFs


A momentary unloaded bank to check the blind side of a turning aircraft.


Identified system inoperative.


Basic Fighter Maneuver - Training designed to apply aircraft handling skills to gain proficiency in recognizing and solving range, closure, aspect, angle off, and turning room problems in relation to another aircraft to either attain a position from which weapons may be employed or deny the adversary a position from which weapons may be launched or defeat weapons employed by an adversary. Examples are the high speed yo-yo, quarter plane maneuver, Immelmann turn, barrel roll. BFM training builds appreciation of pursuit geometry, cutoff, radial G, rolling maneuvers and energy management.

BFM Advantage

The command or use of maneuvering airspace usually OUT OF PLANE OF A BANDIT`S TURN TO ALLOW the attacker to gain or maintain an offensive advantage or close to a gun solution. Requires positional and/or energy advantage.


Prebriefed fuel state which is needed for recovery using prebriefed parameters.


Built-In Test or Binary Digit


Buttock Line


No visual contact with friendly aircraft; opposite of term "VISUAL."


Directive/informational call that indicates aircraft will continue straight ahead at the merge and not turn with target/targets.


Bomb Live Unit


Air brakes


A radar/visual contact whose identity is unknown.

Bogey Dope

A request for bearing and range to bogey and as available, heading, speed, and altitude.

Bomb Range (Br)

The horizontal distance a bomb will travel from release to impact.

Bomb Trail

The distance that represents bomb drag in weapon ballistic computation.


Term used to indicate the formation will remain in a Racetrack-type holding pattern (with all wingmen's tums into lead); exit formation must be specified by lead.


Means to commit, track, and attack a specific target or group of targets. Example: 'Cobra 3 Bonzai the western flight, Cobra 4 Bonzai the eastern flight.' To plan to use Launch and Defend tactics - press to a merge if needed. Opposite of 'Skate'



BORT number

Aircraft number usually 2-4 digits long painted on the fuselage of an aircraft.

Bought the Farm

Died. Originated from the practice of the government-reimbursing farmers for crops destroyed due to aviation accidents on their fields. The farmers, knowing a good thing when they see it, would inflate the value of lost crops to the point that, in effect, the mishap pilot “bought the farm.” Student pilots regularly practice emergency landings to farmer’s fields.


Groups/contacts/formations in a square or offset square.


Bearing, range, and altitude of target


Indicates geometry where aircraft will maneuver to a position on opposing sides either laterally or vertically from the target.

Break (Up/Down/Right/Left)

Directive to perform an immediate maximum performance turn in the indicated direction. Assumes a defensive situation.

Break Away

Tanker/receiver call indicating immediate vertical and nose/tail separation between tanker and receiver is required.


Term used to denote radio frequency is becoming saturated/degraded and briefer transmissions must follow.


Request/directive to switch to Broadcast Control.

Broadcast Control

A mode of control that passes target information by referencing a designated location, series of locations, or grid system.

Broke Lock

Loss of radar/IR lock-on (advisory).


Bomb Stabilizing Unit


Backup Fuel Control

Buddy Spike (Position/Azimuth/Altitude)

Receiving friendly AIRWR.

Buffer Zone (Bz)

Airspace of defined dimension and adjacent to or near borders which may have special restrictions.

Bugout (Direction)

Combat separation for low fuel, loss of tactical advantages or accomplishments of mission objectives; intent is to permanently separate from that particular engagement/attack.


An established reference point from which the position of an aircraft can be determined.


A fly-up to acquire line of sight to the target or laser designation.


A pushover maneuver.


Directive to select/deselect afterburner (generally to fly at maximum speed).


Electronic communications jamming.


Beyond Visual Range.