Link 16 is a military tactical data link network designed to provide warfighters operating on land, in the air and at sea with secure, anti-jam Line-of-Sight (LoS) communications.
According to military analysts, 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.
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.
Even though Link 16 has been around awhile, the technology hasn’t stayed stagnant. Introduced 40 years ago to coordinate NATO air defenses during the Cold War, Link 16 communications continue to evolve into smaller and more diverse form factors, going from theater commands to individual warfighters.
With a variety of Link 16 compatible radios and waveforms appearing in recent years, there has also been an increase in technical improvements. One example is the Link 16 Enhanced Throughput or LET messaging (packing more data in a timeslot), as well as other advanced capabilities such as Concurrent Multi-Netting (CMN) and Concurrent Contention Receive (CCR), which allow radios to receive much more information in one time slot.
Another Link 16 application is the Amalgamated Remote Management System (ARMS), which is a Joint Interface Control Officer (JICO)-level network management tool designed to provide users with accurate information about what is happening on their Link 16 networks and flags any user who is not operating per the network load.
Want to learn more? Tonex offers Overview of Link 16 System Architecture, a 3-day course where participants learn about Link 16 and Link 16 data and how it is transmitted via Link 16 terminals with multiple type of platforms with different architecture including JTIDS, MIDS LVT and MIDS JTRS (using SDR).
You will also learn how Link 16 terminals are used by aircraft, surface ships, ground vehicles, missile defense systems, networked enabled weapons, and command and control networks.
This course is especially designed for electronic warfare, avionics systems engineers, system architects, hardware and software engineers, and employees with little or no Link 16 experience. The course is also useful for those who have experience with Link 16 but have never had any formal training on Link 16 system architecture.
For more information, questions, comments, contact us.