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Link 16

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.

Used For:

Tactical Digital Information Links J

Acronym For:

Tactical Digital Information Links J

Broader Terms:

data link
Defense Communications System
Defense Satellite Communications System
E-2 Hawkeye
E-3 Sentry (AWACS)
EC-130E Senior Scout
EC-130H Compass Call
EP-3C Aries SIGINT Aircraft
Joint Tactical Information Distribution System
Multifunction Information Distribution System
Multifunctional Information Distribution System
Over-the-Horizon Airborne Sensor Information System
RC-135W Rivet Joint

Narrower Terms:

Battlefield Airborne Communications Node
line of sight
Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio System
Over-the-Horizon Airborne Sensor Information System
time division multiple access
ultrahigh frequency

Related Terms:

Air Defense System Integrator
EC-130E Senior Scout
electronic warfare
Joint Data Link Information for Combat Execution
Link 1
Link 11
Link 14
Link 22
Multifunction Information Distribution System
P-8A Poseidon
Remotely Operated Video Enhanced Receiver
secure communications
Tactical Digital Information Links A/B
Tactical Digital Information Links C

CALL Homepage >> Thesaurus Last Updated: Sept 17, 2008