NATO Defence Ministers launch initiative to enhance maritime surveillance capabilities
On 12 October 2023 NATO Defence Ministers and the Swedish Defence Minister endorsed the Digital Ocean Vision, a pioneering initiative to enhance NATO’s maritime situational awareness from seabed to space. The Digital Ocean initiative will transform Allied maritime domain awareness by enhancing coordination between national and Allied capabilities employed for maritime surveillance. This includes a broad range of assets from satellites to autonomous systems below, on, and above the sea.
NATO is already stepping up to better address maritime threats. At the Vilnius Summit, NATO leaders agreed to establish NATO’s Maritime Centre for the Security of Critical Undersea Infrastructure within NATO’s Maritime Command (MARCOM) in the United Kingdom, to increase our situational awareness and enhance deterrence and defence in the maritime domain. Earlier this year, NATO created a Critical Undersea Infrastructure Coordination Cell at NATO Headquarters in Brussels to improve information sharing and exchange best practices between NATO Allies, partners, and the private sector. The Digital Ocean Vision initiative will further enhance maritime situational awareness for the security of critical undersea infrastructure.
As a next step, NATO Allies will develop a roadmap to guide the future development of maritime capabilities in line with other efforts across the Alliance, including NATO’s Digital Transformation and the Defence Production Action Plan.