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Link 16 is a time division multiple access (TDMA)-based secure, jam-resistant, high-speed digital data link which operates in the radio frequency band 960–1,215 MHz, allocated in line with the ITU Radio Regulations to the aeronautical radionavigation service and to the radionavigation satellite service. 

You might say Link 16 is to Tactical Data Links (TDLs) what 5G broadband is to wireless networking.

Link 16 was created by the U.S. military to advance the capabilities of TDLs. At the heart of Link 16 is the Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS). The DLS MIDS LVT represents the latest generation of Link 16 equipment incorporating secure data and voice into a single, small, affordable and highly reliable unit.

MIDS Low-Volume Terminals (LVTs) are on most U.S. Air Force fighters, bombers and tankers, most U.S. Navy aircraft, ships, and US bases and air defense systems.

Link 16 also supports the exchange of text messages, imagery data and provides two channels of digital voice (2.4 kbit/s and/or 16 kbit/s in any combination). 

The Link 16 system facilitates real-time exchange of data over a common communication link, allowing participants to obtain and share situational awareness information and interoperate within the battlespace.

Link 16 also facilitates the exchange of sensor information, enabling command and control centers—either centralized or distributed—to create Common Operating Pictures (COP). Interoperability provided by Link 16 allows each participant in the communication link to electronically observe the battlespace, identify threats and acquire targets.

Link 16 information is commonly broadcast through radio frequency bearers, but it can also distribute information via landlines, satellites and serial links. It is a sophisticated radio designed to broadcast omni-directionally, providing maximum interoperability for dispersed and/or fast-moving participants. Messages sent via Link 16 can be broadcast simultaneously to as many users as needed.

What sets Link 16 apart from other tactical data links is that it does not depend on any one terminal to act as a node for the Link 16 network. Instead, all Link 16-capable terminals act as nodes, allowing various military forces to operate while distributed.

Link 16’s unique data link architecture allows troops to conduct operations with flexibility in unpredictable battlespace environments and is critical for force interoperability against future threats.


Tonex offers a dozen courses in Link 16 Training, including:

Advanced Link 16 Training (3 days)

Link 16 Training for Managers (3 days)

Tactical Data Link Training Crash Course (4 days)

Link 16 and MIDS Training Bootcamp (5 days)

Visible Message Format (VMF) Training Bootcamp (4 days)

Our Link 16 courses are designed by Link 16 experts in the field, and this allows our workshops to excel in certain topics that only professionals in these specialized areas would understand.

For more information, questions, comments, contact us.