Everything You Need to Know About NSN!

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What is NSN?

This NSN part is commonly used in electronic, aviation, civil, military and medical applications. is might be available in other material grades. It is also possible to have in a different size, if you have issues with your application.

This is yet another acronym by the Government standing for National Stock Number. It is the official 13 digit identifier applied to an item of supply that is repeatedly procured, stocked, stored, issued and used throughout the federal supply system.

We learn early on that an NSN is usually attached to the things that we offer the Government, but it is important to note that not all our parts and/or products have this number.

When an item has been assigned an NSN, data is assembled to describe the item. Some data elements include item name, manufacturer’s part number, and technical characteristics.

These numbers are used to identify and manage nearly every imaginable item, from aircraft parts to light bulbs. The use of NSNs facilitates the standardization of items and aids in reducing duplicate items in the federal inventory. Currently, there are over 6 million NSNs in the Federal Supply System.

Military parts NSN database – Looking at the NSN structure

Let’s take a look at the structure of the National Stock Number (NSN) and this 13-digit code, it is depicted as:


The first two numbers are known as the Federal Supply Group and the second two numbers the supply class (FSC). For example 62 being the FSG- Electric Lamps, and the 40 being the FSC; better defining the item.

This is why most of us search for opportunities using the first four digits of the NSN; as well as using them for setting up our bid notifications.

The next two digits make up the Country of Origin code. Codes 00 and 01 are both used to identify the United States.

The remaining seven digits are sequentially assigned and are unique to each NSN, also known as the NINN (National Item Identification Number). The NIIN identifies a specific part and no two NINNs are alike.

Assignment of a National Stock Number

The DLA Logistics Information Services, located in Battle Creek Michigan, assigns all NSNs at the request of the Military Services, some Federal and Civil Agencies, and foreign friendly countries.

Each NSN assigned is the result of a careful review process known as cataloging. Cataloging is the process whereby each item of supply is named, assigned a FSC, described to identify all known characteristics and performance data, and ultimately assigned an NSN.

Requests for NSNs are initiated whenever a non-stocked item is repeatedly ordered or when a new weapons system is being developed. Whenever a new weapons system is deployed by a Military Service, the service engages in an upfront review known as a provisioning process.

During the provisioning process all potential spare parts are identified and requests for NSN assignment are submitted to DLA Logistics Information Services.

Throughout the life of the NSN, this data is routinely updated to include new manufacturers, price changes, part number changes or other changes effecting the support, logistics data, or characteristics of the item.

For more information on NSN, and/or its alternatives, and related products, feel free to contact us. Providing excellent service is one of our greatest strengths. Communication and results are important to our customers. Whether you are looking for parts, a project, or a mission, we are here to help. As a result of our access to 14 million parts, we can offer our customers a competitive advantage in the aerospace industry.


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