EMC Military Test Standard

MIL-STD-461G is a set of standards issued by the U.S. Department of Defense (U.S. DoD) that focuses on electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) requirements for military equipment and systems.

Electromagnetic Compatibility Testing

EMC Testing for the Military Defense Industry

As a trusted partner specializing in electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) testing, IB-Lenhardt AG and its subsidiary IBL-Lab GmbH proudly offer a comprehensive range of EMC testing services aligned with military standards. Our primary objective is to assist in the early-stage development of military communication systems and components, ensuring their compliance with stringent requirements.

Our expert team conducts interference emission and immunity analyses to assess the potential propagation and reception of electromagnetic energy, as well as radio frequency interference. By subjecting components to rigorous EMC testing, we guarantee their electromagnetic compatibility with surrounding devices while minimizing vulnerability to external sources.

With our extensive experience and profound expertise in EMC testing, we are fully equipped to handle your project with utmost professionalism. You can count on us to support you from the start, giving you peace of mind that you are working with an experienced industry leader.


Measurement Classification

In 1967, the U.S. Department of Defense introduced MIL-STD-461 to incorporate electromagnetic compatibility considerations into the development of military communications technology. Since then, several revisions of MIL-STD-461 have been published. The most recent revision, known as MIL-STD-461G, was published in 2015. Although compliance with MIL-STD-461 is not mandatory for non-military entities, many civilian organizations are also adopting the standard.

The MIL-STD-461G EMC standard describes in detail the tests that must be performed on any type of electronic, electrical or electromechanical equipment used in military applications.

The tests are divided into:

  • Emission measurements

  • Susceptibility measurements

  • Conducted measurements

  • Radiated measurements

Emission Tests
  • Conducted Emission: CE1xx
  • Radiated Emission: RE1xx
Susceptibility Tests
  • Conducted Susceptibility: CS1xx
  • Radiated Susceptibility: RS1xx
EMI Tests
Radiated Emission RE Test Systems Conducted Emission CE Test Systems Power Leads CE101 Power Leads CE102 Antenna Terminal CE106 Magnetic Field RE101 Electric Field RE102 Antenna Outputs RE103 Electromagnetic Interference EMI
EMS Tests
Antenna Port CS103 Antenna Port CS104 Antenna Port CS105 Conducted Susceptibility CS Manual Testing Power Leads CS101 Structure Current CS109 Bulk Cable Injection CS114 BCI Impulse Excitation CS115 Transients CS116 Lightning Transient CS117 ESD CS118 Conducted Susceptibility CS Test Systems Magnetic Field RS101 Electric Field RS103 Trans. Electrom. Field RS105 Radiated Susceptibility RS Test Systems Electromagnetic Susceptibility EMS

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Video Introduction

Military Standard Testing

The Department of Defense and the US military requires that all of its equipment be tested to the highest standards. Many commercial OEMs have followed suit and adopted MIL-STD 810 and MIL-STD 461 as the benchmark for environmental and EMC testing.
Watch this informative video from Alltest Instruments to learn more about the basics.

Main Changes

MIL-STD-461G Test Updates

  • Now supports FFT time domain for EMI

  • Threshold of immunity introduces additional frequency zoom

  • Passive devices like antennas, LISN, and current probes require calibration only initially or after repair. Measurement system integrity check introduced for all test cases

  • Cable routing on test table for floor standing equipment

  • Test CS106 deleted (Conducted susceptibility, transients on power line) (was newly introduced in MIL STD 461F)

  • New test case CS117: Conducted Susceptibility, Lightning Induced Transients, Cables and Power Leads

  • New test case CS118: Conducted Susceptibility, Personnel Borne Electrostatic Discharge

  • CE102: LISN performance verification at 10.5 kHz and 100 kHz

  • CE106 / RE103: New rules for upper test frequency

  • CS101: Use of test receiver as alternative for oscilloscope

  • CS114: Calibration setup of BCI clamp / monitoring clamp combination

  • CS114: Change of forward power level limitation

  • RE102: Upper test frequency always 18 GHz

  • RS103: Field measurement only by field probe

  • CS114 / RS103: Verification of modulation with 40 dB dynamic

  • All equipment and ancillary gear including antennas not being actively used for a particular subset of radiated tests shall be removed from the test area


The MIL-STD-461G Standard is applicable for subsystems and equipment of:

Land Air Sea Space

Test Procedures

Equipment and Subsystems

Source: Rohde & Schwarz, © IB-Lenhardt AG 2023 Explanation: A: Applicable, L: Limited as specified in the individual sections of this standard, S: Procuring activity must specify in procurement documentation L L L L L A A A A A A A A A L A L L A L L L L L L L L L L A A A A A A A A A L A A A A S S A A A A A L L S L S S L L A A L A A A A A A A A S S A A A A A A A A A A A A A A L L S S S S S S S S S S S L L S S S S S S S S S S S S S S A A A A A A A A A L L L L L L L L L A A A A A A A A A L A A A CE101 CE102 CE106 CS101 CS103 CS104 CS105 CS109 CS114 CS115 CS118 RE101 RE102 RE103 RS101 RS103 RS105 CS117 CS116 Ground, Air Force Ground, Navy Ground, Army Space Systems, Including Launch Vehicles Aircraft, Air Force Aircraft, Navy Aircraft, Army, Including Flight Line Submarines Surface Ships Requirement Applicability Equipment and subsystems installed in, on or launched from the following platforms or facilities:

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Emission and Susceptibility

Conducted and radiated Emission

CE101 Power Leads, 30 Hz to 10 kHz
CE102 Power Leads, 10 kHz to 10 MHz
CE106 Antenna Terminal, 10 kHz to 40 GHz
RE101 Magnetic Field, 30 Hz to 100 kHz
RE102 Electric Field, 10 kHz to 18 GHz
RE103 Antenna spurious and harmonic outputs, 10 kHz to 40 GHz

Conducted and radiated Susceptibility

CS101 Power Leads, 30 Hz to 150 kHz
CS103 Antenna Port, Intermodulation, 15 kHz to 10 GHz
CS104 Antenna Port, Rejection of Undesired Signals, 30 Hz to 20 GHz
CS105 Antenna Port, Cross-Modulation, 30 Hz to 20 GHz
CS109 Structure Current, 60 Hz to 100 kHz
CS114 Bulk Cable Injection (BCI), 10 kHz to 200 MHz
CS115 Bulk Cable Injection (BCI), Impulse Excitation
CS116 Damped Sinusoidal Transients, Cables and Power Leads
CS117 Lightning Induced Transients
CS118 Personnel Borne Electrostatic Discharge
RS101 Magnetic Field, 30 Hz to 100 kHz
RS103 Electric Field, 2 MHz to 40 GHz
RS105 Transient Electromagnetic Field

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MIL-STD-461 Testing

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Measurement Set-up


Calibrate devices acc. to ANSI/ISO/IEC 17025 or ISO 10012 Passive devices (i.e. antennas, clamps, probes) require only initial calibration.

Test environment

Measurements preferably done in anechoic rooms


  • Distance: ±5%

  • Frequency: ±2%

  • Amplitude, measurement receiver: ±2 dB

  • Amplitude, measurement system (includes measurement receivers, transducers, cables, and so forth): ±3 dB

  • Time (waveforms): ±5%

  • Resistors: ±5%

  • Capacitors: ±20%

Environmental noise

> 6 dB below the required limit for CE101 / CE102 the Equipment Under Test has to be replaced by a resistive load.

Ground plane

The EUT shall be installed on a ground plane that simulates the actual installation. If the actual installation is unknown or multiple installations are expected, then a metallic ground plane shall be used.

Metallic ground plane

  • Size: > 2.25 m²

  • Depth: > 76 cm

  • Resistance: < 0.1 mOhm/square

  • Bonding Distance between ground connectors: < 1 m

  • Format: < 5:1

  • Material: Solid

  • Ground resistance: < 2.5 mOhm

Instrumentation Set-up

0.15 s/kHz 0.015 s/kHz 1.5 s/MHz 1.5 s/MHz 0.15 s/MHz 15 s/GHz 1 s/BW 1 s/BW 1 s/BW 1 s/BW 0.15 s/BW 0.15 s/BW 0.015 s/BW 0.15 s 0.015 s 0.015 s 0.015 s 0.015 s 0.015 s 0.015 s 10 Hz 100 Hz 1 kHz 10 KHz 10 KHz 100 kHz 1 MHz 30 Hz – 1 kHz 1 kHz – 10 kHz 10 kHz – 150 kHz 150 kHz – 10 MHz 10 MHz – 30 MHz 30 MHz – 1 GHz Above 1 GHz Frequency Range 6 dB Bandwidth Minimum Measurement Time Analog Receiver Dwell Time Stepped Scan FFT

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Related Test Methods

European and International Military Standards

DEF-STAN 59-41

The requirements of this Standard apply to the limitation of propagated electromagnetic energy, whether conducted or radiated, and to the limitation of the susceptibility of electrical and electronic equipment, sub-systems and systems to such energy.

DEF-STAN 59-411

This Standard outlines the typical electromagnetic environmental requirements for electrical/electronic equipment used in the Services and guidance is given covering documentation which ensures management and control procedures are implemented during all acquisition stages of any given project.


Measurement of Electromagnetic Interference Characteristics (11 JAN 1993) [S/S BY MIL-STD-461E]: This standard establishes techniques to be used for the measurement and determination of the electromagnetic interference characteristics (emission and susceptibility) of electrical, electronic, and electromechanical equipment, as required by MIL-STD-461


Electromagnetic Environmental Effects, Requirements for Systems (01 DEC 2010): This standard establishes electromagnetic environmental effects (E3) interface requirements and verification criteria for airborne, sea, space, and ground systems, including associated ordnance.


Aircraft Electric Power Characteristics (12 MAR 2004): This standard establishes the requirements and characteristics of aircraft electric power provided at the input terminals of electric utilization equipment. MIL-HDBK-704-1 through-8 defines test methods and procedures for determining airborne utilization equipment compliance with the electric power characteristics requirements defined herein. Electromagnetic interference and voltage spikes are not covered by this standard.


Environmental Engineering Considerations and Laboratory Tests (31-JAN-2019) (65 MB): This Standard contains materiel acquisition program planning and engineering direction for considering the influences that environmental stresses have on materiel throughout all phases of its service life. It is important to note that this document does not impose design or test specifications. Rather, it describes the environmental tailoring process that results in realistic materiel designs and test methods based on materiel system performance requirements. Figure 1-1 summarizes this direction.


Characteristics of 28 Volt DC Electrical Systems in Military Vehicles (22-MAR-2013): This standard covers the limits of transient voltage characteristics and steady state limits of the 28 volt (V) direct current (dc) electric power circuits of military vehicles.



Electromagnetic Environmental Effects Tests And Verification Edition E Version 1 December 2016


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Full Scope Services of Military Communication and Short Range Radar Systems

  • Comprehensive EMC and RF testing methods to military standards (MIL-STD, Def Stan)

  • End-to-end DAkkS-accredited testing capabilities: anechoic and semi-anechoic chambers, copper shielded rooms and ground planes

  • Expert test engineers with many years of experience

  • Single-source test solutions for defense standards validation

  • Comprehensive consulting services: support for military equipment qualification, meeting contract deadlines, component verification assistance

Our engineers not only deliver the testing but also stand at your side for consulting on any questions or difficulties you may have.