Indian Ocean Maritime Security and Defence

The Indian Ocean is a commercial and energy superhighway with multiple chokepoints. Its maritime security and defence require information and expertise about the security of the Indian Ocean and the broader Indo-Pacific region; security and geopolitics of its littoral states; consequences of rising tensions between rivalling superpowers; and the role of the military in its defence.

UWA competitive advantage

  • UWA’s location in Perth, Australia’s Indian Ocean capital, has facilitated a depth of expertise on the strategic significance Indian Ocean region including research in the natural, human and social sciences.
  • Maritime security and defence research include the geopolitics of the Indian Ocean and the broader Indo-Pacific region.
  • The politics and security of states on the Indian Ocean littoral through Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and East Africa.
  • The security implications of the Ocean’s role as a commercial and energy superhighway.
  • The role of the ADF in general and the RAN in particular in the defence of the Indian Ocean and its multiple maritime chokepoints.
  • The economic importance of the trade, strategic oil and energy supplies which flow through the Indian Ocean Region.
  • Key strategic assets and vulnerabilities for both Western Australia and Australia, such as the Gorgon and North West Shelf oil and gas fields, most of the nation’s iron ore, and significant rare earth mineral deposits (key to diversifying global markets currently dominated by China) all sit on the Indian Ocean.
  • The United States’ evolving strategy toward the Indian Ocean region and consequences of increasing geostrategic tension and US-China superpower rivalry.

Key contact

UWA Defence and Security Institute

Phone: +61 8 6488 4742