In an effort to achieve standardization objectives for purchases of
products used by the military and other government organizations, the
U.S. Department of Defense created standards that these products must
meet. You will see these standards called military standard, “MIL-STD”,
or “MIL-SPEC.” These standards ensure products meet certain
requirements, commonality, reliability, compatibility, and similar
The Department of Defense also has
standards for two-way radios and
radios that meet this standard must meet levels for such criteria as
vibration, rain, salt air, sand/dust, shock (dropping), humidity,
temperature as well as other factors.
Buying a product that meets mil-spec standards means you are buying a
quality product that is built to withstand tougher use.
You may also see radios with an “IP” designation. IP stands for
Ingress Protection and it is an international standard that specifies
the sealing effectiveness of the enclosure of a product. It is a two
digit code that tell you how effective the enclosure is to penetration
from fingers, dust, and moisture.
For instance, for a radio that meets IP 55, the first 5 means it is
protected from the amount of dust that would interfere with its
operation. The second 5 means that it is protected from water that
shoots from a nozzle.