Network-Centric Operations Case Study: Air-to-Air Combat With and Without Link 16

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Link 16 enables network-centric operations (NCO) in ways that voice-only communications cannot. How does this increase in effectiveness translate into success in battle? More than 12,000 sorties were flown in the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System Operations Special Project, where Link 16 and voice-only communications were evaluated. Using NCO metrics, the authors gauged improvements provided by Link 16. The almost threefold increase in effectiveness shows the merits of the Link 16 and NCO concepts. The authors conclude that further studies should examine more complex missions and increase understanding of NCO concepts.