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A series of standard types of coaxial cable were specified for military uses, in the form "RG-#" or "RG-#/U". They date from World War 2 and were listed in MIL-HDBK-216 published in 1962. These designations are now obsolete. The RG designation stands for Radio Guide; the U designation stands for Universal. The current military standard is MIL-SPEC MIL-C-17. MIL-C-17 numbers, such as "M17/75-RG214", are given for military cables and manufacturer's catalogue numbers for civilian applications. However, the RG-series designations were so common for generations that they are still used, although critical users should be aware that since the handbook is withdrawn there is no standard to guarantee the electrical and physical characteristics of a cable described as "RG-# type". The RG designators are mostly used to identify compatible connectors that fit the inner conductor, dielectric, and jacket dimensions of the old RG-series cables.
It is important to choose the correct RG style cable for your requirements, but also to look carefully at the specifications to confirm the performance of the cable from a particular manufacturer meets the requirements of your particular application.