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Link 16 systems provide clarity in the chaos of combat.

Also known as JTIDS/TADIL J system, Link 16 is an encrypted, jam-resistant, node less tactical digital data link network established by JTIDS-compatible communication terminals that transmit and receive data messages.

Link 16 has become known as a reliable military communications medium for ground and sea personnel in battle. It is particularly vital for air defense. This is because situational awareness of any air attack and defense relies on crucial data communications and its networking. Because of increased situational awareness for pilots, the Link 16 system has a proven record of superiority.

Link 16 data communications standards and technology were developed in the U.S. JTIDS program, which began in 1975. The first JTIDS terminals or Class 1 terminals were large and were installed only on AWACS and at U.S., U.K., and NATO ground-control facilities.

Smaller JTIDS terminals (Class 2) were also developed. However, because of their high cost, large size and reliability issues, only a limited number of such terminals were procured to equip U.S. fighters specifically—U.S. Navy F-14Ds and a single squadron of U.S. Air Force F-15Cs. The MIDS program was created to put small, lightweight Link 16 terminals on U.S. and participating allies’ fighter aircraft.

In addition to creating a common tactical picture, Link 16 enables military forces working together to share imagers, digital voice communications and text messages. Anti-jamming technology keeps Link 16 communications safe.

Link 16 Network Enabled Weapons feature tactical edge connectivity as well as:

  • In-flight target update
  • In-flight retargeting
  • In-flight controller hand-off
  • In-flight abort
  • Bomb Hit Indication (BHI)
  • Increased standoff range
  • Increased weapon accuracy
  • Moving target engagement
  • Re-targeting and Controller Handoff
  • Contact Report
  • Abort and Self-Abort
  • Resume Mission
  • Loiter
  • Coordination Request

Link 16 information is primarily coded in J.-series messages which are binary data words with well-defined meanings.

Want to know more about Link 16 Systems? Tonex offers a dozen course in Link 16 Systems Engineering and Operation such as Advanced Link 16 Training, Link 16 Training for Managers, Link 16 and MIDS Training Bootcamp and Tactical Data Link Training Crash Course.

For more information, questions, comments, contact us.

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