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Tactical Wireless Communications and Networks: Design Concepts and Challenges by George F. Elmasry

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5.7 Concluding Remarks

5.7.1 What Comes after the GIG?

For the GIG vision, we are aiming beyond the ability to achieve seamless IP flow at all levels of tactical networks. This vision includes the introduction of high bandwidth MANET networks as another stop along the continuing path toward ever-evolving battlefield communications capabilities. These evolving capabilities include the deployment of sophisticated cognitive radios which are more efficient at spectrum utilization than the JTRS generation of tactical MANET radios. A battlefield full of unmanned sensors, unmanned aerial and ground vehicles, and unmanned automated weaponry systems requires ever-evolving communications capabilities.

5.7.2 Historical Perspective

The Cold War was a major driver for developing sophisticated tactical radios. The early versions of Link-16 were attempted in the 1960s with two parallel programs for the US Air Force and the US Navy. However, it was not until 1976 that a single US Air Force program owned a Link-16 device. Early warning aircraft were first equipped with Link-16 terminals, which were large and could not fit in a small aircraft. Smaller Link-16 terminals were finally in operational testing in the 1980s, and by the 1990s the F15s were equipped with Link-16 terminals. Different versions of the waveform were adapted by the Navy and joint forces, making Link-16 one of the most successful and widely used waveforms in networking land, sea, and air platforms.

The technological leaps of the ...

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