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A common technique for improving throughput in low bandwidth networks is the use of header compression. While removing static protocol entries and synchronizing state information between a sender and receiver can reduce per-packet overhead, this is defeated by fixed sized TDMA MAC frames. Another optimisation technique is the use of packet aggregation, where multiple data packets are concatenated into a single MAC frame. We have developed a lightweight header compression and transmission stream aggregation scheme based on improvements to the robust header compression (ROHC) standard. In this paper we describe these two techniques and provide an analysis of applying these solutions to mobile tactical networks. The analysis shows that traditional header compression is of little use when the MAC frame size is fixed. However, when combined with packet aggregation, significant gains in throughput and reductions in per-packet overhead can be achieved.