Link 16 data is transmitted via Link 16 terminals found in a range of platforms, including aircraft, surface ships, ground vehicles, missile defense systems, networked weapons, and command and control networks.
These terminals can operate Link 16 capabilities exclusively or can combine Link 16 functions with other advanced military waveforms.
To assure continuous secure and uninterrupted communications, compulsory Link 16 protocol updates are implemented as needed across the network, with system sunset dates pre-announced to all network participants so they can update their various platforms’ equipment and procedures effectively.
Since its inception, Link 16 has received numerous accolades by NATO allies. Considered the standard by which other systems are measured for secure, airborne situational awareness, Link 16 has been credited by the U.S. Air Force as a key factor for saving lives in multiple theaters due to the increased situational awareness the system provides.
Link 16 uses Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) to provide multiple, simultaneous communication paths through different nets.
In contrast to other communications link waveforms, Link 16 improves security, jam resistance, and situational awareness, while also increasing data throughput and the capacity of information exchanged. In addition, Link 16 provides secure voice capability, relative navigation capability, and precise participant location and identification.
Originated in the 1970s, Link 16 continues to evolve. For example, the DoD announced its intention to further expand Link 16 capabilities to help U.S. and coalition military forces adjust to new mission needs, enhance its situational awareness, adapt to new technologies and improve warfighter safety.
One new capability focuses on Concurrent Multiple Reception (CMR) in which a radio can demodulate and decrypt multiple messages from multiple users simultaneously. This works something on the order of a car radio picking up three or four stations simultaneously instead of zeroing in on a single FM station.
CMR could be particularly effective with positional data enabling more frequent, secure updates on the location of friendly and enemy forces. The data from multiple messages received simultaneously would be fused into a common picture.
Want to know more about Link 16? Tonex offers Advanced Link 16 Training, a 3-day course that covers advanced Link 16 concepts, Link 16 network architecture, Link 16 planning, Link 16 security, Link 16 Cybersecurity Link 16 operation and Link 16 management.
Additionally, Tonex offers another 45 courses in Aerospace & Defense Engineering, including:
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