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NATO reporting names are
code names for military equipment of
China, and, historically, the former
Eastern Bloc (
Soviet Union and other nations of the
Warsaw Pact). They provide unambiguous and easily understood English words in a uniform manner in place of the original designations, which either may have been unknown to the
Western world at the time or easily confused codes.
 For example, the Russian bomber jet
Tupolev Tu-160 is simply called Blackjack.
NATO maintains lists of the names. The assignment of the names for the Russian and Chinese aircraft was once managed by the five-nation Air Standardization Coordinating Committee (ASCC) (now called the
Air and Space Interoperability Council, or ASIC, which includes representatives of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States), but that is no longer the case.