Non-Traditional Link 16 Applications for Contested + Congested Environments
Originally Aired Thursday, August 20th
Link 16 has evolved as the modern battlefield needs have changed, first from coordinating Cold War air intercept missions to helping U.S. and allied forces maneuver in today’s often complex operating environment. Originally designed for air-to-air missions in the 1980s, Link 16 provided secure, jam-resistant, line-of-sight data exchanges between the computers on military platforms that needed real-time situational awareness, command and control, navigation, and identification. While the original Link 16 messages and protocol have expanded over the last 30 years to fill more roles and missions, the fundamental waveform is essentially the same, but now there are many more ways to process it. With over 40 countries and over 15,000 platforms using Link 16, it has become the most widely adopted tactical data link/coalition network worldwide and has demonstrated its reach and resiliency in multiple ways, delivering a range of key technological enhancements that will help ensure its relevancy as an effective tool in any future near-peer conflict.