Link 16 Certification Training Courses: Link 16 is a military tactical data link (TDL) network used by NATO. With Link 16, military aircraft as well as ships and ground forces may exchange their tactical picture in near-real time.
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 U.S. bases and air defense systems.
The benefits of Link 16 radios are many, including:
- The ability for jam-resistant Link 16 radios to automatically exchange battlefield information in a long-range, line-of-sight network.
- Supports the exchange of text messages and imagery data.
- Provides two channels of digital voice.
- C2 to C2 battle management.
Link 16 and Situational Awareness
Putting it all together, the main purpose of Link 16 is to increase situational awareness. This is accomplished through the exchange of digital data over a common communication link that is continuously and automatically updated in real time, reducing the chance of fratricide, duplicate assignments or missed targets.
Link 16 Into the Future
As reliably as Link 16 has performed, engineers are working to make Link 16 connectivity even better. Currently, the MIDS program includes two different families of receiver synthesizer line cards:
- MIDS-LVT (Low volume terminal): LVT(1), LVT(2), or LVT(3).
- MIDS-JTRS (Joint Tactical Radio System Terminals). MIDS-JTRS is a Software Defined Radio (SDR) that is compliant with the JTRS Software Communication Architecture (SCA). MIDS JTRS maintains the Link-16, J-Voice, and TACAN (a tactical air navigation aid providing range and bearing from a beacon) functionality of the older MIDS-LVT standard, and adds link-16 enhanced throughput (ET), link-16 frequency remapping (FR), and programmable crypto.
A forthcoming MIDS JTRS/ MIDS-J will have a software-controlled architecture. Many feel JTRS will be the foundation of future U.S. radio-based communications.
Within the same volume as the MIDS-LVT, the software-defined MIDS-JTRS will be able to handle Link 16 with NSA certified encryption. It will also have TACAN, UHF or VHF, and the Wideband Networking Waveform as communication options, and additional capabilities are implemented on 3 additional programmable channels from 2 MHz – 2 GHz.
As with most areas of technology, change is rapid and often dramatic with tactical data links. For a more detailed look at Link 16 technology, Tonex offers 11 different courses.
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