The Future Maritime Operating Environment and the Role of Naval Power


  1. Lombari, B.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Centre for Operational Research and Analysis, Ottawa ON (CAN)
Drawing upon a wide array of primary and secondary sources, this report concludes that maritime issues will be increasingly prominent as the current century unfolds and likely far more so than the last decades of the 20th. Increasing exploitation of marine resources and reliance on the maritime realm to sustain populations and to support socio-economic development are leading to an entwining of ecological stresses and political frictions. Efforts to regulate the ensuing tensions will often become, as they have been, contentious. These developments, which will be further magnified by the shift in power to the Indo-Pacific region (particularly the rise of China and Sino-US competition) as well as many uncertainties regarding the opening of the Arctic region, are underscoring the strategic significance of the ocean space. As a result, naval power will retain its strategic significance. Being an agile instrument of national power in order to deal with security threats and/or to conduct diplomatic and constabulary missions will continue to be the defining requirements of modern navies. While the strategic objectives of seapower remain unchanged, the maritime operating environment will be most likely focussed on the littorals where human social and economic activity is intensifying and state and non-state actors will be operating with increasingly sophisticated capabilities. Modern navies require a broad range of platforms and capabilities to be combat-effective, but the proliferat

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maritime environment;maritime issues;naval force development;naval strategy
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2016-R085 — Scientific Report
Date of publication
01 May 2016
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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