What is MIL-DTL-5015 Circular Connector? Applications, and Advantages

MIL-DTL-5015 is a heavy-duty circular connector, considered as a type of military connector, that is designed with soldered or crimped contacts. Soldering and crimping help in creating stronger and more reliable connections. They are used for power distribution along with both analog and digital signals. The MIL-DTL-5015 circular connectors are designed for devices used in very harsh environments. And to make them more suitable for such situations they are made to provide outstanding corrosion resistance and rugged performance. 

They are usually made with stainless steel, aluminum, and composite thermoplastic plugs with receptacles so that they can easily work in extreme environments like mining and geophysical exploration. Working in extreme environments, these connectors have to survive many critical situations like extreme temperature, salt spray, caustic chemicals, and much more. 

To work in harsh environments, the MIL-DTL-5015 circular connectors are created with threaded and bayonet coupling styles with solder or removable crimp contacts, front and rear release. Bayonet coupling helps in quick connect and disconnect in a quick one-third turn of the coupling ring and secures it from high vibrations. While the economical design of threaded coupling provides a very simple locking mechanism completing the coupling in 4 turns, also helps in securing from high vibration environments. The connectors are designed using these couplings so that they remain securely coupled even in any kind of harsh conditions and vibrations and can be easily disconnected by hands when required without using any kind of tool.

These connectors are popular for a very long time in history because of their versatility, reliability, and cost-effectiveness.


These connectors are mostly used in situations where mechanical and electrical reliability is very important. They are used to designed for military aircraft and are used in many other commercial and military applications. The applications that use MIL-DTL-5015 connectors are aerospace, oil, and gas, saltwater, petrochemical, mining, earthmoving, telecommunication, generators, machining tools, rail, as well as military applications like communications, aircraft, ground vehicles.


  • These circular connectors provide ease of engagement and disengagement.
  • They are compatible with different types and several contacts and allow power and signal lines in one connector.
  • They are allowable with a wide range of contact voltages and current up to 225 A for Series I.
  • They can perform under harsh environmental conditions. 
  • Depending upon the class of the connector, they can be operated in a wide range of temperatures ranging from –55°C up to 200°C.
  • They are highly resistant to mechanical shocks and high vibrations.
  • They are relatively low in price as compared to other connectors.
  • They are designed with interlock and captive nut to prevent them from inadvertent disassembly.
  • They are designed with several shell styles (straight, right angle, wall receptacle, box receptacle, cable plug).

There is one significant drawback of using this circular connector when compared with rectangular connectors is the inefficient use of panel surface area when used in arrays. Also, they have only one keyway which limits the connectors’ ability to be polarized to prevent mismating of same-shell-size connectors in an area where multiple sets of plugs and receptacles exist. 

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Theresa Winfrey