Today's changing tactical environment emphasises the NATO forces need for a common, real-time data link to provide the dissemination of intelligence data. This paper addresses the NATO problem, but the requirements and the scenario are applicable for other theatres as well. The NATO theatre was chosen because it represents the worst case situation in terms of the threat environment and the density of emitters. It is imperative that common linkage among forces is available and that the networks for the dissemination of critical data are in place and survivable; i.e., the node points must be away from prime target areas. The purposes herein are threefold. First, a review of some of the desirable aspects of a data link, as envisaged by the operational community is presented. Second, a NATO Recce scenario with its attendant data collection requirement is postulated. Third, pertinent data link characteristics, for operation in this environment, are suggested. Data link technology limitations, trade-offs and representative configurations are presented, with an emphasis on interoperability issues. Although no universal solutions are presented, it is shown that a NATO interoperable data link is feasible.