Indian and American Perspectives on Technological Developments in the Maritime Domain and Their Strategic Implications in the Indian Ocean Region

Pradeep Kaushiva and Kamlesh K. Agnihotri

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The maritime domain, hosting the highways of global prosperity—through trade, industrial raw material and energy links—rates high in its potential for conflict. As the global pendulum of economic vibrancy swings eastwards, the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) has been receiving increasing attention from all actors, state as well as non-state ones, and now presents itself in sharp focus as one of the volatile seascapes on this earth. The navies operating in the region will, therefore, need to depend on high technology and associated doctrines and procedures, so as to effectively deal with the wide spectrum of challenges therein. It will also become incumbent upon such littoral states as can afford the high cost of technology, to catch up so as to maintain their relevance in the great game being played out in their very own backyard.

The United States as a leader in inventing and exploiting technology sets its own benchmarks in internalization of advanced technologies to undertake maritime missions at and from the sea in support of its military operations ashore. China, on the other hand, has been striving towards achieving asymmetric war-fighting capabilities, supported by other developing technologies as well as core capabilities like the Beidou position-fixing system, which would be central to network-centric operations, including missile guidance systems.

As the IOR increasingly transforms into an arena of extra-regional power play, the implications of technologically enabled confrontations and their impact on resident states are poised to weigh in on a scale never imagined before. There is thus, a greater need for India to gain in-depth knowledge of and develop a perspective on advanced technology sensors, weapons, supporting infrastructures, doctrines and futuristic concepts in the maritime domain and their potential as strategic game changers in the IOR.

This book aims to foster greater understanding of the challenges facing the IOR and also look at how the technological advances in the maritime domain may possibly handle such challenges. It should provide useful resource material to those investigating the impact of technology on meeting the maritime challenges in the IOR.

Pradeep Kaushiva and Kamlesh K. Agnihotri Vice Admiral (Retd) Pradeep Kaushiva is the Director of the National Maritime Foundation. A specialist in Communications and Electronic Warfare, the Admiral holds an M Sc (Telecom) degree and is a Fellow of the Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers. In a career spanning more than four decades, Admiral Kaushiva commanded four ships. As a Flag Officer, he served as Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Information Warfare and Operations); Deputy Commandant and Chief Instructor, National Defence Academy at Khadakwasla; Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet and Chief of Staff, Southern Naval Command at Kochi. He retired as the Commandant of the National Defence College, New Delhi.

Commander Kamlesh K Agnihotri is a Research Fellow at the China cell of the National Maritime Foundation. He was previously working in the China Desk at the Army Headquarters, New Delhi, where he gained extensive and first hand insight on China, its Armed Forces and the complex nature of Sino-Indian relations. He was commissioned into the Indian Navy in January 1986 and is a qualified missile and gunnery specialist. He has several years of experience in various fleet ships and has commanded a ship at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. He has also qualified as a Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry expert and has a Masters degree in Business management.

 

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