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Tactical Data Link Market Size, Share and Covid-19 Impact Analysis, by Solution (Hardware, and Software), By Platform (Air, Ground, and Sea), By Application (Command & Control, Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR), Electronic Warfare, Radio Communication, and Situational Awareness), and Regional Forecast, 2020 – 2027

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI103189



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The global tactical data link market size was USD 6.14 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 9.88 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 9.54% during the forecast period (2020 – 2027).

Tactical data link (TDL) is a communication standard that uses different data links for the transmission and exchange of tactical information among arm forces. TDL provides secure military communication through tactical networks such as IDM, Link 11, AFAPD, Link 16, Link 22, SADL, JREAP, VMF, and SIMPLE. The TDL can be implemented through hardware and software solutions. Among these, the hardware solution comprises a sensor, processor, router, antenna multifunctional, information distribution system (MIDS), and weapon data link controller, among others. Secure communication through TDL is allowing military personnel to make an accurate decision in a critical situation. This technology easily integrates with a variety of military systems, which will improve the capabilities of that system.

The air, land, and sea platform-based commanders can able to exchange real-time tactical data with this cost-effective tactical communication solution. The TDL solution can also improve the capabilities of various military applications such as command & control, intelligence, surveillance & reconnaissance, electronic warfare, radio communication, and situational awareness.

Moreover, the key players involved in the market are mainly focusing on the development of advanced TDL solution to increase bandwidth and expand warfighter data transmission range. As the adoption of TDL increases, the arm forces will be able to communicate more efficiently with coalition partners. Therefore, the growing need to enhance interoperability among arm forces and coalition partners and rising international security threats and disputes among neighboring countries are the factors driving the growth of this market. However, the stringent military standards are expected to hamper the market growth. Despite this, the growing demand for automated fire control systems and emerging advanced warfare technologies are expected to create ample opportunities for growth.


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Increase in Military Modernization Programs to Boost the Market Growth

An increase in defense budgets and the integration of advanced technologies in high growth regions are expected to increase the military modernization programs. Under this program, the conventional military systems are replaced with advanced communication systems. Advanced communication systems can provide long-range tactical data transmission. For instance, the conventional Common Shipboard Data Terminal Set has been removed from the command and control process. It integrates advanced terminal set that increases the bandwidth of U.S. Navy tactical data link system and enables broad range tactical communication.


Rising International Security Threats and Disputes Among Neighboring Countries Is Supporting Market Growth

The rise in terrorist activities across the world, weighing on the countries to enhance their defense budget and the procurement of advanced communication technologies. Rising cross-border activities across the globe have led to an emphasis on strengthening military application system capabilities. The high growth countries such as China, India, and South Korea are increasing their military budget to modernize the conventional communication system and increase the procurement of fighter jets, UAVs, UGVs, and UUVs. Moreover, the growing need to improve the safety and security of military personnel is propelling the development of automated fire control systems. This system is mainly integrated with this solution. Therefore,  the advent of automated fire control systems will lead to an increase in the demand for tactical communication software solutions to control weapon-based systems from a remote location. These factors are driving the growth of this market during the forecast period. 

Growing Demand for Enhanced Interoperability Will Aid Growth

The growing demand for improved interoperability among arm forces and coalition partners are accelerating the production of advanced system solutions. The interoperability allows the system or arm forces to work together in a particular situation. To work together, the coalition partners have to communicate with each other. Requirements for secure communication, the adoption of tactical data link solutions has risen from different end-users. NATO is a military alliance between 30 European and North American Countries. On 27 March 2020, the North Macedonia state added to the NATO member list. The NATO used military data Link 16 network to communicate with its coalition partners. In addition to this, Link 16 is used to give the command to the partners and to make a decision by communicating with the NATO members.


Rigorous military standards are hindering the market growth

In the defense sector, the secure communication of tactical data is very important as it may alter an incorrect interpretation of severe accidents. Therefore, the defense sector defines some standards to develop and test this data link solution. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has described standards that are being applied by all major NATO members and many other nations. These strict standards are expected to hamper the market growth during the forecast period. Despite this, the growing need for developing accurate and real-time information provider communication systems owing to the increase in the number of international threats is expected to propel the market growth in the near future. 

COVID-19 Pandemic to Restrain Market Growth

The outbreak of the coronavirus across the world is expected to restrain the tactical data link market growth for the short-term. Due to lockdown, manufacturing units have been closed down temporarily to reduce the spread of the infection among employees and workers. This affects the demand and development of these solutions, which directly hinders the growth of this market.


By Solution Analysis

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Increasing Demand for Software-based Solutions will Aid Growth of the Software Segment

Based on solutions, the global market is divided into hardware and software. The software segment is projected to register the fastest growth during the estimated time. The software system is mainly used to enhance the capabilities of hardware components by providing seamless connectivity among them. Moreover, the increase in up-gradation existing products solution to improve the security of tactical data transmission

The hardware solution segment is anticipated to hold major shares in 2019. These systems consist of computer & interface, communication networks, antenna, and sensors to design a complete operating system. 

By Platform Analysis

Rising Demand for UASs in Military Applications is Expected to Propel Market Growth

Based on the platform, the global market has been segmented into air, ground, and sea. The air segment is anticipated to register the highest growth during the review period. This growth is attributed to the rising demand for UAVs, fixed-wing, and rotary-wing aircraft. The growing integration of tactical data links in military aircraft to improve the command and control, attack, and situational awareness capabilities are driving the market growth. Moreover, the demand for UAVs with tactical data link capacity is increasing in military command and control applications. The UAVs gather tactical information and deliver it to the ground-based control station. This information helps the military commanders to make decisions in tactical situations.

The ground segment is expected to dominate the market with the highest share in 2019. This growth is attributed to the large adoption of tactical data link radio for the communication between military personnel. 

By Application Analysis

Growing Usage of Upgraded Systems in Command and Control Applications to Fuel the Market Growth

The tactical data link as per application has been classified into command & control, intelligence, surveillance & reconnaissance, electronic warfare, radio communication, and situational awareness. The command and control application segment is expected to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period. This growth is attributed to the rising need to improve the decision-making capabilities of military personnel in a tactical situation. Moreover, this data link enhances the capabilities of command and control applications by allowing the transmission of real-time tactical data. This tactical data supports the arm forces to make a proper decision based on the position and status of the target enemy.

For instance, Raytheon technologies developed an advanced field artillery tactical data system that provides automatic support for coordinating, planning, controlling, executing, and delivering fires. This system first sets the priority of a target depending on the sensor data. Then it used situational data to execute attack analysis under the guidance of commanders. Furthermore, with growing terrorist activities across the world, the use of advanced communication systems has risen for command and control applications. 


North America Tactical Data Link Market Size, 2019 (USD Billion)

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The tactical data link market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Rest of the World. North America dominates the market with the highest share in 2019. This growth is attributed to the presence of hardware and software solution developers in the U.S. The growth of the market in North America is further attributed to the increasing military expenditure for the development of advanced military security solutions.

As per our market research study, Asia Pacific is expected to witness the highest growth during the mentioned timeframe. This growth is attributed to the increasing defense budget by China and India for the modernization of the existing tactical communication system. Moreover, the growing need to strengthen military capabilities owing to an increase in terrorist activities in India is expected to aid the market growth in Asia Pacific.

Europe is estimated to hold the second-largest Tactical Data Link market share in 2019 due to the presence of several solution providers in this region, such as Thales Group and Leonardo SpA. The rest of the world will register moderate growth during the review period owing to the rise in disputes among neighboring countries.


Achieving Long-Term Defence Contracts and Constant Product Innovation Are Key Strategies

The competitive landscape of this market depicts the presence of several large and medium-sized companies such as Raytheon Technologies Corporation, Thales Group, Viasat, Inc., and Curtiss-Wright Corporation, among others. The key players involved in the market are mainly focusing on the development of upgraded systems, software solutions, and associated tactical communication equipment to meet with application demand.

The key players are also adopting organic and inorganic growth strategies such as increasing investments in R&D activities, mergers, and acquisitions and entering into a long terms contract with the defense ministry.


  • BAE Systems (The U.K.)

  • Curtiss-Wright Corporation (The U.S.)

  • Elbit Systems Ltd. (Israel)

  • General Dynamics Corporation (The U.S.)

  • Honeywell International, Inc. (The U.S.)

  • L3Harris Technologies, Inc. (The U.S.)

  • Leonardo SpA (Italy)

  • Northrop Grumman Corporation (The U.S.)

  • Raytheon Technologies Corporation (The U.S.)

  • Saab AB (Sweden)

  • Thales Group (France)

  • Viasat, Inc. (The U.S.)


  • November 2019 – Australian Defence Force Tactical Data Link Authority (ADFTA) has signed a contract with Northrop Grumman Corporation. Under this contract, Northrop Grumman Corporation has to provide TDL systems and training.

  • September 2019 – Curtiss-Wright Corporation, headquartered in North Carolina, announced its newly designed software solution HUNTR (TDL hub and network translator). HUNTER is an intelligent TDL translation gateway that is designed for link 16, situational awareness data link, joint range extension applications protocol, and cursor-on-target, among others. This new software solution can also improve the real-time translation and routing of a tactical data link.

  • July 2018 – California-based Viasat Inc., announced that it had shipped 1,000 units of small tactical terminal KOR-24A. These terminals were purchased by the U.S. military air force, especially for AV-8B Harrier II attack jets.


The tactical data link market report offers qualitative and quantitative insight into the data link communication and detailed analysis of market size & growth rate for the segments in the market.

An Infographic Representation of Tactical Data Link Market

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Along with this, the report provides an elaborative analysis of market dynamics, emerging trends, and competitive landscape. Key insights offered in the report are the adoption of advanced Platform, recent industry developments such as partnerships, mergers & acquisitions, consolidated SWOT analysis of key players, Porter’s five forces analysis, business strategies of leading market players, macro and micro-economic indicators, and key industry trends.

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Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD Billion)

By Solution

  • Hardware

  • Software

By Platform

  • Air

  • Ground

  • Sea

By Application

  • Command & Control

  • Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR)

  • Electronic Warfare

  • Radio Communication

  • Situational Awareness

By Region

  • North America (The U.S. and Canada)

  • Europe (The U.K., Germany, France, Russia, and Rest of Europe)

  • Asia Pacific (Japan, China, India, and Rest of Asia Pacific)

  • Rest of the World (Latin America and The Middle East & Africa)

Frequently Asked Questions

In 2019, the global market size was USD 6.14 billion, and it is anticipated to reach USD 9.88 billion by 2027, growing at a stellar CAGR of 9.54% during the forecast period (2020-2027).

In this market, hardware solutions, ground platforms, and command and control applications are the leading segment.

Need to enhance interoperability among arm forces and coalition partners and growing international security threats, and disputes among neighboring countries are the factors that are driving the growth of this market.

In this market, some of the key players are L3Harris Technologies, Inc., Viasat Inc., and Raytheon Technology.

In the market, the key players are mainly focusing on the constant innovation and development of tactical data communication technology for various military applications

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Tactical Data Link Market Size, Share and Global Industry Trend Forecast till 2026
  • Jul, 2020
  • 2019
  • 2016-2018
  • 200


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