Tactical telecommunications systems tend to be wireless, mobile, dynamic and adaptable systems. The systems are able to quickly convey tactical information such as a node's location, and usually have various forms of data protection, e.g. encryption. Development is driven not only by the needs of the military, but also civil needs, such as warnings and rescue.
Tactical telecommunications systems can be divided into different areas depending on the communication needs.
These areas include:
- Radio system technology. This includes military tactical data links such as Link-16 and civil communications systems like TETRA (used by the Emergency Services)
- The dynamic network structures or adhoc networks are self-configuring, and so require no forward planning
- Software-based radio systems. A large part of a radio which was traditionally based on hardware is realised instead using software. This allows more wave forms to be supported by one type of radio