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A new architecture for mobile radio networks, called the linked cluster architecture, is described, and methods for implementing this architecture using distributed control techniques are presented. We illustrate how fully distributed control methods can be combined with hierarchical control to create a network that is robust with respect to both node loss and connectivity changes. Two distributed algorithms are presented that deal with the formation and linkage of clusters and the activation of the network links. To study the performance of our network structuring algorithms, a simulation model was developed. The use of Simula to construct, software simulation tools is illustrated. Simulation results are shown for the example of a high frequency (HF) intratask force (ITF) communication network.