Reference document

STANAG 5616 Ed 5
Standards for Data Forwarding between Tactical Data Systems employing Link 11/11B, Link 16 and Link 22


The purpose of this STANAG is to specify rules, protocols, and translations required between J series and M series messages. Data forwarding is the process of receiving data on one digital data link and outputting the data, using proper format and protocols, to another type of digital data link(s). In the process, a message(s) received on one link is translated to an appropriate message(s) on another link. Data forwarding is accomplished by the selected forwarding unit(s) simultaneously participating on more than one type of data link. The data that is forwarded is based on the data received and is not dependend upon the local system data of the data forwarding unit or its implementation of the received message or the forwarded message. Those data elements applicable within the messages are translated to the appropriate data elements in the corresponding messages. Within the data forwarding process, data management will be minimized. All systems that forward data must adhere to this STANAG. In the coure of implementing Link-16, it is recognized that some systems may use internal system translations (i.e., Link-16 to Link-11B) and some systems may transmit originated track data on more than one data link at the same time. Functionally, such systems are not data forwarders; however, these systems will adhere to the guidance in chapter 3 of this STANAG to ensure that the closest possible relationship of data elements and data element interpretation will be maintained among all users of the data.

Responsible Party

DPC CaP1 Tactical Datalink Capability Team




Flag Date RFC Version
added 2002-12-03 0.4
changed 2005-09-23 0.7
changed 2013-07-25 8
changed 2017-01-14 9-14 10