Definition/Scope: (FM 6-24.8) Link-16 is a relatively new tactical data link, which is being employed by the United States Navy, the Joint Services, some nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Japan. Link-16 uses the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS), which is the communications component of Link-16. The E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) data links such as TADIL-J as well as the Surveillance Control Data Link (SCDL) to pass information to the Ground Station Modules (GSMs), which are the Army component for the Joint STARS. Link-16 does not significantly change the basic concepts of tactical data link information exchange supported for many years by Link-11 and Link-4A. Rather, Link-16 provides certain technical and operational improvements to existing tactical data link capabilities and provides some data exchange elements, which the other data links lack. It provides significant improvements as well, such as jam resistance; improved security; increased data rate (throughput); increased amounts/granularity of information exchange; reduced data terminal size, which allows installation in fighter and attack aircraft; digitized, jam-resistant, secure voice capability; relative navigation; precise participant location and identification and increased numbers of participants. LINK-16 is DoD's primary tactical data link for command, control, and intelligence, providing critical joint interpretability and situation awareness information. Link 16 uses a Time Demand Multiple Access (TMDA) architecture and the "J" message format standard. The "J" series of message standards are designated as the Department of Defense's primary tactical data link, according to the Joint Tactical Data Link Management Plan (JTDLMP). The JTIDS terminal is one of two terminals providing LINK-16 capability to the soldiers, sailors, and service members in the field. The other LINK-16 terminal is the Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) terminal.
Acronym For:Tactical Digital Information Links J
Broader Terms:data link
Narrower Terms:Battlefield Airborne Communications Node
Related Terms:Air Defense System Integrator