Swedish Navy Tests Link 22 Exchanges with Finland
Swedish Navy Tests Link 22 Exchanges with Finland

Swedish Navy Tests Link 22 Exchanges with Finland

The first transmissions with Link 22 between naval units have been completed and open up opportunities for, among other things, a more integrated collaboration with Finland in the Baltic Sea region. Recently, the first transmissions were made in the air with Link 22 between Visby-class corvette HSwMS Härnösand (K33), HSwMS Nyköping (K34) and the Royal Swedish Naval Academy in Karlskrona. The Visby corvettes are one of the navy platforms that are planned to have Link 22 capability. The test was carried out by first establishing a local air position image and a local sea position image in the respective management systems at the various units. The information came from own sensors mixed with information from the Maritime Information Center in Gothenburg.

Link 22 is a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) secure radio system that provides Beyond Line-Of-Sight (BLOS) communications. It interconnects air, surface, subsurface, and ground-based tactical data systems, and it is used for the exchange of tactical data among the military units of the participating nations. Link 22 will be deployed in peacetime, crisis, and war to support NATO and Allied warfare taskings. The Link 22 Program was initially conducted collaboratively by seven nations under the aegis of a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU). The original seven nations were Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States (US), with the US acting as the host nation. Spain has replaced the Netherlands as a NILE (NATO Improved Link Eleven) Nation.

Swedish Navy Tests Link 22 Exchanges with Finland
Swedish Navy Tests Link 22 Exchanges with Finland (Photo Swedish Defence Materiel Administration, FMV)

Link 22 was developed to replace and overcome the known deficiencies of Link 11. Link 22 was also designed to complement and interoperate easily with Link 16. It was designed with automated and simple management to ensure that it is easier to manage than both Link 11 and Link 16. This program is called “NATO Improved Link Eleven”, which is abbreviated to “NILE”. The tactical data link provided by the NILE system has been officially designated Link 22. This program specified a new tactical message standard in the NATO standardization agreement (STANAG) 5522 to enhance data exchange and provide a new layered communications architecture. This new data link was designated Link 22 by NATO. The NATO Improved Link Eleven (NILE) program is funded and collaboratively conducted by seven nations under the aegis of a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

Projects implementing Link 22 and Link 16 have the task of integrating tactical data links in the form of a multi-link capability on board a number of vessels. The multi-link capability consists of Link 16, Link 22 and JREAP-C. Link 16 is already established in Sweden, primarily in the Swedish Air Force and the Air Force. This is now combined with Link 22 which is a relatively new link developed for marine applications. By combining these two, you also have the opportunity to transfer information between the data links. The need for information exchange via international data links is based on the capabilities of the ship platform and the roles it must maintain together with other units in international cooperation.

Swedish Navy HSwMS Nyköping (K34) Visby-class corvettes
Swedish Navy HSwMS Nyköping (K34) Visby-class corvettes (Photo Swedish Defence Materiel Administration, FMV)

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