AIM 1-1-5

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1-1-5. Tactical Air Navigation (TACAN)

a. For reasons peculiar to military or naval operations (unusual siting conditions, the pitching and rolling of a naval vessel, etc.) the civil VOR/Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) system of air navigation was considered unsuitable for military or naval use. A new navigational system, TACAN, was therefore developed by the military and naval forces to more readily lend itself to military and naval requirements. As a result, the FAA has integrated TACAN facilities with the civil VOR/DME program. Although the theoretical, or technical principles of operation of TACAN equipment are quite different from those of VOR/DME facilities, the end result, as far as the navigating pilot is concerned, is the same. These integrated facilities are called VORTACs.

b. TACAN ground equipment consists of either a fixed or mobile transmitting unit. The airborne unit in conjunction with the ground unit reduces the transmitted signal to a visual presentation of both azimuth and distance information. TACAN is a pulse system and operates in the Ultrahigh Frequency (UHF) band of frequencies. Its use requires TACAN airborne equipment and does not operate through conventional VOR equipment.

Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) — Chapter 1
1-1-1 - 1-1-2 - 1-1-3 - 1-1-4 - 1-1-5 - 1-1-6 - 1-1-7 - 1-1-8 - 1-1-9 - 1-1-10 - 1-1-11 - 1-1-12 - 1-1-13 - 1-1-14 - 1-1-15 - 1-1-16 - 1-1-17 - 1-1-18 - 1-1-19 - 1-1-20 - 1-1-21 - 1-1-22
1-2-1 - 1-2-2 - 1-2-3