Maritime Domain Awareness - Indian Context

IndraStra Global, June 2015

6 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2016

Date Written: June 14, 2015


The oceans are complex mediums whose nature provides ample opportunity for an enemy to avoid detection — weather, sea states, and coastal land masses all present considerable challenges to modern sensors. Peacetime economic use of the seas complicates this problem enormously. The oceans are the world’s foremost (and most unregulated) highway, home to a vast and wide variety of international neutral shipping that possess no apparent threat. Determining the enemy in such a crowded and complex environment is difficult during conventional war, during an asymmetric conflict such as the global war on terror (GWOT), it is a formidable task.

It is the asymmetric nature of terrorism that forms the core of Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA). In conventional naval war the enemy is relatively well defined and almost universally a combatant. Pursuit of GWOT, where literally any vessel could be a potential enemy or weapon carrier, or when any maritime event can have an impact on the security of India, demands a much higher level of awareness than that normally required in a conventional naval conflict.

Keywords: Maritime, Naval, Navy, Defense, Coastal Defense, Conflict, India, Indian Ocean Region

JEL Classification: N45, N40

Suggested Citation

Kulshrestha, Sanatan, Maritime Domain Awareness - Indian Context (June 14, 2015). IndraStra Global, June 2015, Available at SSRN:

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