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JTIDS/MIDS Link 16 is a military radio system for the distribution of information, position location and identification between different military elements, such as aircrafts, ships and radar systems. A communication net is set up between these elements to distribute the information.
Although JTIDS/MIDS Link 16 is often mentioned as one, it are actually three different things.
JTIDS (Joint Tactical Information Distribution System) provides the TDMA based communication net between the military elements. As many as 128 different nets can be set up with 128 time slots/sec/net. Transmission rates of 28,8 up to 238 kbps are possible. The system operates in the 960 - 1215 MHz frequency band. JTIDS uses both frequency hopping and direct sequence spread spectrum to be robust against intentional and unintentional interference.
MIDS (Multifunctional Information Distribution System) represents the NATO requirements which are met by the JTIDS/Link 16 system. At the user level JTIDS and MIDS can be regarded as interchangeable.
Link 16 is the language used on JIDS to send messages. There are messages defined for network management, command and control, weapons control and management. These messages include surveillance on land, in the air and in water (surface and sub-surface), battle management, electronic warfare, weapons control (e.g. missiles and unmanned aircrafts), video, voice, free-text and network management.
JTIDS/Link 16 is defined in military standard STANAG 5516.
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