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In the migration toward network-centric warfare, the NATO STANAG 4406 for Military Message Handling Systems (MMHS) may be used for direct information exchange between high-data-rate strategic users and low-data-rate tactical users by utilizing its new tactical protocol profile. In this article the protocol profiles are tested across a "worst case" tactical HF link providing IP services. There are considerable throughput gains available using the tactical profile. Among the various automated HF technologies tested, the new HDL+ data link protocol, suggested for standardization within NATO, shows the best throughput capabilities for short to medium-size messages on typical HF channels. 3G HF is the most robust technology at low signal-to-noise ratios. The 2G HF throughput performance suffers from inefficient linking procedures. There are optimization issues at different levels of the protocol stack, and implementation choices have great impact on overall performance.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2004