header image

Common Network Interface

Improved Situational Awareness for Expeditionary Strike Groups

Common_Network_Interface__CNI_ (1)Common Network Interface (CNI) offers functional system improvements for LHA and LHD Class ships, allowing these ships to interoperate more effectively with other modern ships in the fleet. CNI provides ship commanders with all of the available tactical and situational awareness information by integrating the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) information with local tactical pictures. CNI distributes tactical information that was previously held locally to Expeditionary Strike Group units.

The program is based on a commercial-off-the-shelf open architecture platform. It provides an open architecture test bed for rapid computing environment, evaluation of future combat system sensors, weapons, and capabilities as they are developed. It modernizes the Human System Interface to display a richer set of tactical and situational awareness information and presents tactical and system information to and will allow tactical and system control by the operator.

About CNI

Common Network Interface (CNI) establishes the technical framework for continuous warfighter-driven improvements by providing an open architecture system landing pad for improved situational awareness in LHA/LHD amphibious assault ships. This program introduces to the surface community the Rapid Capability Insertion Process (RCIP) that has been so successful in the submarine community. CNI capability is being developed in a series of Flights, each adding tactical capability. Flight 0 is in service on three ship and Flight 0+ enhanced software is installed on three additional ships.

Improved Situational Awareness

The fused CNI tactical picture will reduce cognitive work load requirements for ESG watch officers who now must mentally integrate information from stove piped displays and systems. Improvements in timeliness, accuracy and situational awareness contributes to reducing the decision cycle and probability of error.

CNI Flight 1

CNI Flight 1 will provide Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) processors and software suite capable of integrating and displaying multiple source data into a real time tactical picture to enhance situational awareness for the Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) commander. The CNI tactical picture will allow watch officers to view and manipulate tactical data, develop situational awareness and access a variety of tools and software applications from one source as opposed to multiple, stove pipe displays.


  • Enables Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS) Model 5 track data to enhance situational awareness for the Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) commander and staff
  • Utilizes the Tactical Display Framework (TDF) as the display engine for tactical displays
  • Reduces the probability of fratricide, enables rapid decision making by the ESG staff and provides vital warfighting information to the ESG
  • Improves the Human Machine Interface (HMI) in ESG command spaces with a modern display capability utilizing color, digital terrain mapping and modern interface devices
  • Provides mission planning, Tactical Decision Aids (TDA) and Tactical Situational Displays that will assist watch officers in building and maintaining situational awareness. Watch officers will be alerted when unknown and hostile tracks penetrate specified vital areas and when friendly tracks approach specified standoff areas. Watch officers will be able to annotate tracks, turn on track histories and maintain track of critical contacts.
  • Provides system playback capability and Computer Based Training (CBT) to support operator proficiency training.
  • Host open source word processing, spreadsheet, e-mail, Web browsing, CHAT and presentation management tools and access the Secret Internet Protocol (IP) Router Network (SIPRNET), allowing watch officers to use these tools with the same keyboard and trackball used for the CNI tactical display.

Download our Common Network Interface datasheet