Tactical Data Link Market Share, Size, Trends, Industry Analysis Report, By Solution; By Data Link Type; By Platform; By Application (Command & Control, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR), Electronic Warfare, Radio Communication, and Situational Awareness); By Region; Segment Forecast, 2022 - 2030
The global tactical data link market was estimated at USD 7.87 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.72% during the forecast period.
The global market is predicted to be driven by the growing usage of the tactical data link and the rising demand for a secure network to share data at fast speeds. But strict military regulations are impeding the expansion of the tactical data link market globally.
More ground, naval, and aerial platforms are implementing tactical data link systems to improve communication efficiency. The airborne platform widely uses tactical data connection technologies for various uses, including tracking aircraft performance and air traffic control. Furthermore, it is anticipated that, over time, aircraft modernization initiatives implemented in both developed and emerging nations will support the expansion of the tactical data connection industry.
This technology refers to the communication of tactical data through radio wave data-link standards. Tactical Data Link (TDL) is essential to defense communication systems. TDL also allows a seamless and efficient network of communication systems for all its defense bases and tactical movements. Real-time information is crucial for making better decisions, deploying better countermeasures, planning strategies, and handling highly dynamic battles.
The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted global economies. Tactical data linkages, component manufacturing, and assembly lines all have effects. For several industries, COVID-19 has created several difficulties. That holds for the aerospace and defense sectors as well. Several nations have cut their defense budgets due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the COVID-19 impact, slowing economic signals have been seen in some nations, which might prevent governments from funding many defense-related initiatives. The market for TDL will experience slower growth due to this reduction in expenditure.
Growth Drivers Military research and development spending is rising, which promotes the creation of network-enabled weaponry and the fusion of operated and unmanned systems. Two main developments that Western air forces must deal with are the spread of Integrated Air Defence Systems (IADS), which pose increasingly complex and challenging operational conditions, and the decline in the number of western combat aircraft.
Additionally, manned aircraft and unmanned systems working together increase the combat mass needed in highly competitive circumstances.
Some operations include uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) and next-generation fighters (NGOs) for target acquisition, surveillance, and air-to-air combat. Furthermore, the most recent development in the market is the growing use of network-enabled weapons (NEWs). Network-enabled weapons can find, track, and engage a target more quickly than traditional weapons. As a result, it lessens the chance of fratricide, de-conflicts operations, and raises the likelihood of hitting real-time targets by preventing duplication of effort.
The market is primarily segmented based on solution, data link type, platform, application, and region.
By Data Link Type
Command & Control
Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR)
North America (U.S., Canada)
Europe (France, Germany, UK, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Russia)
Asia Pacific (Japan, China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea)
Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, Argentina)
Middle East & Africa (Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Israel, South Africa)
The Hardware segment is expected to witness the fastest growth in 2021
In 2021, the hardware sub-part was anticipated to expand rapidly throughout the projected period in the global market. Defense forces increasingly use modern tactical data connection technologies for effective communication and real-time data transfer among troops and authorities. For instance, the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) awarded L3Harris Technologies an IDIQ contract worth US$ 552 million in May 2022 to provide Falcon IV AN/PRC-167 radio systems.
Link 16 accounted for the second-largest market share in 2021
It is anticipated that Link 16 will account for a large portion of the market in the forthcoming years. The rising demand for link-16 network-enabled solutions from aerial, maritime, and ground-based units is credited with driving the segment's expansion. Information interchange between tactical command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I) systems occurs over the Link 16 data link.
Link 16 is an identification, navigation, and communication system between ground, air, and sea-based units. It is a jam-resistant, encrypted, and node-less tactical digital data link network. Link 16 offers two networks for digital voice messaging: 2.4 kbit/s and 16 kbit/s, allowing for the interchange of image data, text messages, and voice messages. The most recent communication network, Link 22, was created to address the issues of Link 11 and Link 16. Depending on user needs, this network allows automated bandwidth redistribution—the above factors lead to the market's growth.
The Air segment is expected to witness the fastest growth
The air segment is anticipated to increase at a significant CAGR over the forecast period. This expansion is attributable to the rising need for fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for defense operations. In 2021, the ground segment will hold the largest market share. This growth is related to the widespread use of TDL radio for real-time communication between military personnel and the rising demand from the defense industry for network-enabled weaponry and military vehicles.
The Command & Control segment is expected to witness the fastest growth
In 2021, the Command & Control segment will hold the largest market share. The objective of this segment is tactical data links, which are essential for carrying out command and control activities. The implementation requires linking the armament systems' computer networks to the command and control units' computer networks. As a result, secure and rapid transmission of real-time tactical information occurs. A multitude of functionalities must be integrated across a battlefield to aid combat soldiers in using their sensors tactically and successfully.
Furthermore, it enables them to manage tactical and essential information gathered from the battlefield in a unified manner.
The demand in North America is expected to witness significant growth
The global market is expected to dominate North America during the forecast period. However, The significant proportion of North America in the TDL market is responsible for the rising military spending in North American nations like the United States to adopt cutting-edge technological solutions for effective communication and seamless mission operations across the land, naval, and airborne platforms. For instance, Data Link Solutions was awarded a USD 33.6 million contract by the US Department of Defense (DoD) in June 2020 to provide a Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS).
Europe registered the highest market revenue share in the projected year. The market in the area is expanding thanks to the UK and Germany tremendously. A few important reasons for the European market's revenue growth are the rising use of tactical data linkages in the defense industry, large companies in the area's nations, and increasing R&D efforts to create more modern communication services.
There are numerous major players in the global market, such as Northrop Grumman Corp, BAE Systems, Thales Group, Viasat, General Dynamics Corp, Tactical Communications, Iridium Communications, Harris Corporation, Saab AB, Leidos, ASELSAN, Leonardo, Collins Aerospace, Telefunken Racoms, Raytheon Company, and others.
In May 2022, as part of the US Army's Combat Net Radio (CNR) upgrade program, Thales was one of two (2) vendors to get an Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract. A five-year essential ordering period and an additional five-year optional ordering period are both parts of the competitive 10-year contract for the Combat Net Radio (CNR) program.
In November 2020, Curtiss-Wright Corporation bought Pacific Star Communications, Inc. for USD 400 million. Through this transaction, Curtiss-Wright Corporation expanded its network of suppliers for cutting-edge tactical and business network communications solutions.
In November 2019, the Australian Defence Force Tactical Data Link Authority (ADFTA) awarded a contract to Northrop Grumman Corporation to supply TDL systems and the concerned training for establishing the Australian Defence Force's unified data network.
Tactical Data Link Market Report Scope
Market size value in 2022
USD 8.13 billion
Revenue forecast in 2030
USD 11.77 billion
4.72% from 2022 – 2030
2018 – 2020
2022 – 2030
Revenue in USD billion and CAGR from 2022 to 2030
By Solution, By Datalink Type, By Platform, By Application, and By Region
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America; Middle East & Africa
Northrop Grumman Corporation, BAE Systems, Thales Group, Viasat, Inc., General Dynamics Corporation, Tactical Communications Group, Iridium Communications Inc, L3 Technologies Inc (Merged With Harris Corporation), Saab AB, Leidos, ASELSAN AS, Leonardo SpA, Collins Aerospace, Telefunken Racoms, Raytheon Company, and others.