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Improved Situational Awareness for Expeditionary Strike Groups

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 (ESG) units.

The program is a Navy-developed Technology Readiness Level 8 (TRL-8) Program of Record that provides Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) processors and a software suite. The CNI tactical picture allows 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.

About CNI

Common Network Interface (CNI) establishes the Navy technical framework for continuous warfighter-driven improvements. CNI provides an Open Architecture (OA) Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS) Model 5 taxonomy-compliant system landing pad for improved situational awareness on LHA/LHD amphibious assault ships and other surface combatants. CNI’s capabilities are being introduced through a series of Flights, each adding tactical capability. Flight 0+ is currently in service on 5 ships.

Future CNI releases will provide a software suite capable of integrating and displaying multiple sources of data into a real time tactical picture to enhance situational awareness. By complimenting existing Navy combat systems functionality and by reusing existing shipboard tactical radios, CNI provides a cost effective solution for direct communication between the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) and surface combatants. This approach maximizes existing supply chain and training processes to further reduce total cost of ownership.


  • Real-time F-35X Direct Tactical Data Link Communications to Surface Combatants
  • Leverages Existing Fleet Tactical Data Link Radios
  • F-35X Target Display, Integrated Tactical Picture and Decision Aids
  • Recognized Architecture Supports Navy Modernization
  • 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 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
  • Integrated access to the Secret Internet Protocol (IP) Router Network (SIPRNET)

Download our Common Network Interface datasheet