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The word mark, followed by number, is a method of designating a version of a product. It is often abbreviated as Mk or M. This use of the word possibly originates from the use of physical marks made to measure height or progress. Furthermore, by metonymy the word mark is used to note a defined level of development.
The kind of products that use this convention vary widely in complexity. The concept shares some similarities with the "type" designation (in hardware), also called "software versioning": 1.0+ (1.1, 1.12, 2.0, 3.0, etc.), used to designate general software product releases, and other version control schemas. Thus designations like "Mark I", "Mark II", "Mark III", "Mark IV", etc. come to be used as proper names for persons and products.
Mark refers to a mark on the modification plate of a system, component or machine. Modification plates are used to identify which modifications have already been applied to the device, either at the factory or by maintainers. The use of Mark as a method of versioning has entered common usage however, and may be applied to devices without a modification plate to physically mark.
In British military practice, Mark designations have been given in Roman numerals, often as sub-designations of "Number" designations. For example, the Number 1 rifle, the Number 2 rifle, etc. were major types of equipment, with "Mark" designating a minor variant or production change, i.e. "Number 1 Mark III" or "Number 4 Mark I." However, British Railway practice has usually designated things using Arabic numerals. For example, coaches produced by British Railways went through Mk1, Mk2 and Mk3 series.
The United States Navy uses the terms "MARK" and "MOD" as a method to uniquely designate specific types and configurations of equipment that would otherwise lack military designations. The practice was adopted by the Naval Ordnance group in 1944, and was formalized in MIL-STD-1661 in 1978. As the system came from the Ordnance group, it is primarily used to describe naval guns, gun mounts, and other similar weapon systems.
- Mark VIII, "Cromwell tank" Cruiser tank British Army Royal Armoured Corps
- Mark I combat tank (British Army)
- Mark II electromechanical computer system commissioned as a military project (US Navy)
- Mark III, Merkava main battle tank (Israel Defense Forces)
- Mark 4 aerial atomic bomb, several United States atomic gravity bombs employed a Mark-# scheme (USAF)
- Mk V Anti-tank mine (British Army)
- Mk 6 Assault Boat (British Army)
- Mk 11 Sniper Weapon System (US Armed Forces)
- Mark 12 Mod X Special Purpose Rifle (US Special Operations Forces)
- Mk 13 missile launcher (anti-ship/anti-aircraft) (US Navy)
- Mark 14 Mod 0 Enhanced Battle Rifle (US Armed Forces)
- Mk 16 SCAR-L and Mk 17 SCAR-H assault rifle and battle rifle commissioned by the US armed forces
- Mk 18 CQBR M4A1 Receiver upgrade (US Armed Forces)
- Mk 19 grenade launcher (US Armed Forces)
- Mark 48 torpedo as well as other torpedoes used by the British and US Navies
- The AC Cars Cobra — MkI, MkII and MkIII
- The Ford GT40 series — MkI, MkII, MkIII and MkIV
- Various Jaguar Cars — Jaguar Mark 2, Jaguar Mark IV, Jaguar Mark X, etc.
- The Lincoln Mark series - Continental Mark II, Lincoln Mark VIII, Lincoln MKX, etc.
- Various Lola Cars - Mk.4, Mk.5, Mk.6
- Various Toyota vehicles, especially the MR2 — MkI, MkII, MkIII
- Volkswagen Golf automobile — Mk1, Mk2, Mk3, Mk4, Mk5, Mk6, Mk7
- British Rail Coaches — Mark 1, Mark 4, etc.
- The Walt Disney World Monorails - Mark IV and Mark VI.
Musical and photo instruments
- Rhodes piano — Mark I, Mark II
- Mesa Boogie Mark Series — guitar amplifiers, Mark I to Mark V
- Telharmonium, an early electronic musical instrument, Mark I to III
- SELMER Saxophones — Mark VI and Mark VII Series of saxophones
- Elektron music machines — Mk II versions of the Monomachine synthesizer and the Machinedrum drum machine
- Canon EOS-1D series — 1Ds Mk II, 1D Mk III, 1Ds Mk III, etc.
- Harvard Mark I, Mark II, Mark III, and Mark IV, early computers designed by Howard Aiken at Harvard University from 1937 to 1952
- Navigation system on BMW cars - Mk I, Mk II, Mk III and Mk IV
- MIL-STD-1661 (1978-08-01). "Mark and Mod Nomenclature System". Retrieved 2010-05-22.
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