Philippine Navy Frigate BRP Antonio Luna
Philippine Navy Frigate BRP Antonio Luna

Philippine Navy to Equip Its New Jose Rizal-class Frigate with Tactical Data Link 16

The Philippine Inquirer report that the Philippine Department of National Defense has given the green light for the Philippine Navy to equip its new Rizal-class frigate with Tactical Data Link 16, the standard military network being used by the United States and allies. The system would likely be acquired from the United States in a government-to-government deal through the US’ foreign military sales program. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana this week approved the acquisition decision memorandum for the Tactical Data Link 16 equipment and terminals

Link 16 is a military tactical data link network used by NATO and nations allowed by the MIDS International Program Office (IPO). Its specification is part of the family of Tactical Data Links. Link 16 is defined as one of the digital services of the JTIDS / MIDS in NATO’s Standardization Agreement STANAG 5516. MIL-STD-6016 is the related United States Department of Defense Link 16 MIL-STD. Link 16 is a TDMA-based secure, jam-resistant, high-speed digital data link which operates in the radio frequency band 960–1,215 MHz, allocated in line with the ITU Radio Regulations.

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Philippine Navy Frigate BRP Antonio Luna
Philippine Navy Frigate BRP Antonio Luna

The Link 16 would allow monitoring of battle space operations, share information in real time and improve interoperability between allies and other Philippine military platforms with the same capacity. Link 16 also supports the exchange of text messages, imagery data and provides two channels of digital voice (2.4 kbit/s and/or 16 kbit/s in any combination). With Link 16, military aircraft as well as ships and ground forces may exchange their tactical picture in near-real time.
There would be seamless real-time data swapping with allies without the risks of getting hacked.

The Philippine government has recently completed the acquisition of twoJose Rizal class of multi-role guided missile frigates worth P16 billion from South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI). The ships, which were built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), are specifically accommodated to fit the requirements of the Philippine Navy. The selection of the combat management system, described to be the brains of the warships, was one of the contentious issues of the acquisition process because of the Navy’s Link 16 compatibility requirement.

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