NATO Joint Civil and Military Frequency Agreement (NJFA)

The harmonisation of radio frequency spectrum is necessary for military alliances to work effectively.  Modern military forces require spectrum for a range of applications outside of simply communications.  In an environment of ever increasing demand for access of this spectrum, military organisations must also guarantee that there is an appropriate level of standardisation to ensure compatibility with allied forces.

Although ITU Radio Regulations have explicit provisions for military use of frequency spectrum, ITU Consitution Article 48 and Radio Regulation 4.4 provides for exceptional cases which can be extended to NATO forces in order to achieve flexibility of RF spectrum use to achieve mobility.  Many of the service-allocations and harmonised NATO bands are incorporated in the European Table of Frequency Allocations and Applications.

In 1982 NATO’s 16 member states approved the initial version of the NATO Joint Civil/Military Frequency Agreement, an agreement which now serves as the foundation for allocation of frequencies for NATO members.  With the expansion of the alliance (incorporating an additional 13 member states) new member’s civil authorities responsible for frequency allocation have been required to update/conform to the allocations laid out in the NJFA.

NJFA treaty concerns all NATO members (29 current members as of 2017):

Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.

Provisions of the NJFA agreement apply throughout the territory of NATO nations in ITU Region 1 though many requirements (naval, naval radar, aeronautical, radio-navigation and satellite requirements) apply to all NATO nations. Military requirements which apply to the NATO operational areas in ITU Region 2 are also identified.

ITU region map

Figure 1: Map identifying Region 1, Region 2, and Region 3, and the Tropical Zone (shaded area), as defined by ITU.  See ITU Regions page for additional information.

NATO Frequency Allocation Table

Terminology used below is as follows:

a. Types of military requirements

(1) An essential military requirement for a frequency band, sub-band or ITU service indicates that the loss of, or harmful interference with, the military use of this frequency band, sub-band or ITU service will seriously degrade the operational effectiveness of NATO forces.

(2) A military requirement indicates the need for NATO forces to have access to the frequency band, sub-band or ITU service. The loss of access will impact on the operational effectiveness of NATO forces.

b. Types of harmonised NATO bands

(1) Type 1: A frequency band which is in general military use in NATO Europe.

(2) Type 2: A frequency band which is planned for military use in NATO Europe.

(3) Type 3: A frequency band which has been identified for possible military use in NATO Europe.

In the table below:

a. only those bands (column a) and ITU services (column b) are mentioned where there is a military requirement. This does not exclude, unless otherwise indicated, the utilization for civil applications of these and other ITU services in conformity with the ITU Radio Regulations;

b. -column (c) indicated the military requirements/usage;

-column (d) defines the conditions of use and expands on the information in column (c);

c. ITU services are presented in accordance with the Radio Regulations:

-Primary Services are printed in capitals

(example: FIXED);

-Secondary Services are printed in normal characters

(example: Radiolocation);

d. The Fixed service allocations are also applicable to transportable (tactical) radio relay use.

Not all distress and safety provisions (as well as Radionavigation, Radionavigation-Satellite, and Aeronautical Mobile (R)) services are listed as these are used by all civil and military.

Any mention of ITU Region 2 in the table refers only to NATO operational areas with the boundaries of ITU Region 2.

Freq. band
(a)

Service Allocations used by military forces
(b)
Military Requirements/Usage
(c)
Conditions of Use
(d)
14-70 kHz MARITIME MOBILE Essential military requirements for naval communications  
70-148.5 kHz MARITIME MOBILE Military requirement for naval communications.  
283.5-415 kHz AERONAUTICAL RADIONAVIGATION Military requirement for tactical non-directional beacons.  
415-526.5 kHz AERONAUTICAL RADIONAVIGATION Military requirement for tactical non-directional beacons.  
  MARITIME MOBILE Military requirement for naval communications.  
1606.5 kHz-30 MHz AERONAUTICAL MOBILE (OR) Essential military requirements for long distance airborne communications. The exclusive allocations to the Aeronautical Mobile (OR) service in the bands between 3025 and 18030 kHz are to be used in accordance with RR Appendix 26.
  MARITIME MOBILE

1. Essential military requirements for wideband telegraphy channels.

2. Military requirement for naval communications.

The exclusive allocations to the Maritime Mobile service in the bands between 4000 and 27500 kHz are to be used in accordance with RR Appendix 31.
  FIXED, MOBILE except Aeronautical Mobile (R) Military requirement for fixed and tactical communications. Heavy re-use of channels is necessary.
  RADIOLOCATION Military requirement for use of radiolocation systems.  
30-87.5 MHz MOBILE Essential military requirements for 8 to 25 MHz for tactical communications, of which 8 MHz of should be harmonised spectrum. 1. 45.00-47.00 MHz is a harmonised NATO band type 1 (46.60-47.00 MHz also accessible by the military in ITU Region 2)
138-144 MHz AERONAUTICAL MOBILE (OR) Essential military requirements for operational air traffic. The SPACE RESEARCH service shall not be implemented on a primary basis in NATO countries.
  LAND MOBILE (5.211) Military requirement for land mobile communications.  
156-174 MHz MOBILE, except Aeronautical Mobile Military requirement for sonobuoy operation at sea and in port. Sonobuoy to be operated on a secondary basis.
  MARITIME MOBILE Military requirement for naval communications. To be used in accordance with RR Appendix 18.
225-400 MHz

FIXED
Fixed
MOBILE
Mobile
MOBILE-SATELLITE
(5.254)

1. Essential military requirements for mobile satellite, Air/Ground/Air and specific maritime and terrestrial communications.

2. NATO FMSC is responsible for the management of the military use of this band in NATO Europe.

1. This is harmonised NATO band type 1, including ITU Region 2.

2. The use of the frequency band 225-400 MHz is under review. The implementation of T-DAB in the lower part and of emergency services in the upper part of the band is in progress. In this respect, corresponding to national requirements and national positions for the use of the band, further decisions will take into account results of compatibility analyses and shall be based on CEPT/ERC Decisions or Recommendations and European Standards.

3. Fixed radio relay (non-tactical) shall be transferred to higher frequency bands or other transmission media.

4. The SPACE OPERATION service shall not be implemented on a primary basis in NATO countries, including ITU Region 2.

400.15-406 MHz METEOROLOGICAL AIDS Military requirement for meteorological aids.  
420-450 MHz RADIOLOCATION
Radiolocation
Military requirement for land and naval radars and airborne radars over ocean areas. In the interference range if the territorial waters of member countries, radar operations must be coordinated on a national basis according to the status of the service.
790-960 MHz MOBILE except Aero-nautical Mobile
FIXED
Essential military requirements from 10 to 60 MHz for tactical radio relay, of which 10 MHz should be harmonised spectrum for training in border areas, subject to bilateral or multilateral coordination. Based on present equipment, the deployment for a Corps-size Force requires 50 MHz of spectrum, although it is recognised that some countries will have problems fulfilling such a requirement.
  Radiolocation Military requirement for naval ship-borne radars (890-942 MHz) In the interference range of the territorial waters of member countries, radar operations must be coordinated on a national basis.
960-1215 MHz AERONAUTICAL RADIONAVIGATION (5.328)

Military requirement for:

1. TACAN and military identification systems

2. JTIDS/MIDS operations.

JTIDS/MIDS operations under special national agreements.
1215-1350 MHz RADIOLOCATION
RADIONAVIGATION (5.331)
RADIONAVIGATION-SATELLITE (s-E)(5.329)

1. Essential military requirements for air defence and long-range warning systems.

2. Military requirement for NAVSTAR GPS.

NAVSTAR GPS at 1227.6 MHz with ± 14 MHz bandwidth 5.329 shall be observed.
1350-2690 MHz

FIXED, MOBILE
(5.359)(5.397)
RADIONAVIGATION-SATELLITE
RADIOLOCATION,
Radiolocation

1. Essential military requirements for tactical radio relay, with harmonised bands of 90 MHz, with a total of 180 MHz for major exercises in some countries.

2. Military requirement for radars from 1350 MHz up to 1400 MHz in some countries, and naval radars up to 1400 MHz.

3. Military requirement for NAVSTAR GPS

1. In most NATO countries radio relay equipment tunes through 1350-1850 MHz. Future equipment will tune through the full 1350-2690 MHz band.

2. In the short term the allocation to tactical radio relay should be selected from the sub-bands 1375-1400, 1427-1452, 1492-1525, 2025-2110, 2200-2290, 2520-2575 and 2615-2670 MHz.

3. In the long term (in particular post-2007) the harmonised sub-bands for tactical radio relay, in those countries having common land borders, shall be 2025-2070 MHz and 2200-2245 MHz.

4. NAVSTAR GPS at 1575.45 MHz with ± 14 MHz bandwidth.

2700-3100 MHz Radiolocation Military requirement for land, airborne, and naval radars.  
3100-3400 MHz RADIOLOCATION Essential military requirement for land, airborne, and naval radars.  
3400-3410 MHz Radiolocation Essential military requirement for land, airborne, and naval radars.  
3410-3500 MHz   Military requirement for land and naval radars. In the interference range of the territorial waters of member countries, radar operations shall be coordinated on a national basis according to the status of the service.
4400-5000 MHz FIXED, MOBILE Essential military requirements for fixed, tactical radio relay and mobile systems.

1. This is a harmonised NATO band type 1.

2. The FIXED-SATELLITE service shall not be implemented in NATO Europe.

3. Conditions of 5.149 shall be observed.

5250-5850 MHz RADIOLOCATION
Radiolocation
Essential military requirements for land, airborne, and naval radars.  
7250-7750 MHz FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE (s-E)
MOBILE-SATELLITE (s-E)
(5.461)

1. Essential military requirements for satellite downlinks; the mobile satellite sub-band 7250-7300 MHz is for naval and land mobile earth stations.

2. Military requirement for fixed systems in some countries.

1. This is harmonised NATO band type 1 for satellite downlinks.

2. 7250-7300 MHz is paired with 7995-8025 MHz for the MOBILE-SATELLITE allocation.

3. The FIXED and MOBILE service are not to be implemented in the band 7250-7300 MHz in some NATO countries, including ITU Region 2.

4. In the band 7300-7750 MHz the transportable earth stations cannot claim protection from other services.

7750-7900 MHz FIXED Military requirement for existing NATO fixed systems in some countries.  
7900-8400 MHz FIXED-SATELLITE (s-E)
MOBILE-SATELLITE (s-E)
(5.461),
FIXED
Earth Exploration-Satellite (s-E)
(5.462A)

1. Essential military requirements for satellite uplinks; the mobile satellite sub-band 7975-8025 MHz is for naval and land mobile satellite earth stations.

2. Military requirement for earth exploration satellite (downlink) purposes in the band 8025-8400 MHz.

3. Military requirement for fixed systems in some countries.

1. This is a harmonised NATO band type 1 for satellite uplinks.

2. 7975-8025 is paired with 7250-7300 MHz for the MOBILE-SATELLITE allocation.

3. The FIXED and MOBILE services are not to be implemented in 7975-8025 MHz in most NATO countries, including ITU Region 2.

4. In the bands 7900-7975 MHz and 8025-8400 MHz the transportable earth stations must not cause harmful interference to other services.

8500 MHz-10.5 GHz RADIOLOCATION
Radiolocation
Military requirement for land, airborne, and naval radars. Harmonised NATO band type 2 in selected sub-bands is desirable.
13.4-14 GHz RADIOLOCATION Essential military requirements for land, airborne, and naval radars. 5.502 shall be observed.
14.62-15.23 GHz FIXED, MOBILE Essential military requirements for fixed and mobile services. This is a harmonised NATO band type 1.
15.7-17.3 GHz RADIOLOCATION Essential military requirements for land, airborne, and naval radars. 15.7-17.1 GHz is a harmonised NATO band type 1.
17.3-17.7 GHz Radiolocation Military requirement for land, airborne, and naval radars.  
20.2-21.2 GHz FIXED-SATELLITE (s-E)
MOBILE-SATELLITE (s-E)
Essential military requirements for satellite downlinks.

1. This is a harmonised NATO band type 1, including ITU Region 2.

2. The MOBILE-SATELLITE allocation is paired with 43.5-45.5 GHz.

24.05-24.25 GHz RADIOLOCATION Military requirement for radiolocation systems.  
25.25-27.5 GHz FIXED, MOBILE Military requirements for planned fixed and mobile systems. 26.5-27.5 GHz is a harmonised NATO band type 2.
30-31 GHz FIXED-SATELLITE (s-E)
MOBILE-SATELLITE (s-E)
Military requirements for planned satellite uplinks. This is a harmonised NATO band type 2.
33.4-36 GHz RADIOLOCATION Military requirement for radiolocation systems. This is a harmonised NATO band type 1, including ITU Region 2.
36-37 GHz FIXED, MOBILE Military requirement for fixed and mobile systems.

1. This is a harmonised NATO band type 1, including ITU Region 2.

2. Conditions of 5.149 shall be observed.

37-39.5 GHz FIXED Military requirement for existing and future fixed systems.  
39.5-40.5 GHz FIXED-SATELLITE (s-E)
MOBILE-SATELLITE (s-E)
Military requirement for future satellite downlinks.

1. This is a harmonised NATO band type 3, including ITU Region 2.

2. Pairing with 50.4-51.4 GHz is envisaged.

43.5-45.5 GHz MOBILE
MOBILE-SATELLITE

1. Essential military requirements for satellite uplinks.

2. Military requirement for mobile systems.

1. This is a harmonised NATO band type 1, including ITU Region 2.

2. The MOBILE-SATELLITE allocation is paired with 20.2-21.2 GHz.

3. 5.553 and 5.554 shall be observed.

50.4-51.4 GHz FIXED-SATELLITE (E-s)
Mobile Satellite (E-s)
Military requirement for future use of satellite uplinks.

1. This is a harmonised NATO band type 3, including ITU Region 2.

2. Pairing with 39.5-40.5 GHz is envisaged.

59-63 GHz RADIOLOCATION, FIXED, MOBILE Military requirement for planned fixed, mobile, and radiolocation systems. 59-61 GHz is a harmonised NATO band type 3, including ITU Region 2.
71-74 GHz FIXED-SATELLITE (s-E)
MOBILE-SATELLITE (s-E)
Military requirement for future use of satellite downlinks.

1. This is a harmonised NATO band type 3, including ITU Region 2.

2. Pairing with 81-84 GHz is envisaged.

77-77.5 GHz RADIOLOCATION Military requirement for future use of radiolocation systems. Conditions of 5.149 shall be observed.
78-81 GHz RADIOLOCATION Military requirement for future use of radiolocation systems. Conditions of 5.149 and 5.560 shall be observed.
81-84 GHz FIXED-SATELLITE (E-s)
MOBILE-SATELLITE (E-s)
Military requirement for future use of satellite uplinks.

1. This is a harmonised NATO band type 3, including ITU Region 2.

2. Pairing with 71-74 GHz is envisaged.

92-95 GHz RADIOLOCATION Military requirement for future use of radiolocation systems. Conditions of 5.149 shall be observed.
95-100 GHz RADIOLOCATION Military requirement for future use of radiolocation systems. Conditions of 5.149 shall be observed.