India is falling behind efforts to map the undersea environment of the Indo-Pacific region
Major powers are investing time and money deploying UUVs in these waters because of the valuable oceanographic and hydrographic data they provide. Oceanography is the study of the physical and biological aspects of the oceans. Hydrography is the process by which the ocean bed is surveyed and navigation aids and charts are produced, providing ships the maritime equivalent of roadmaps and road signs.
Oceanography and hydrography have clear civilian applications: scientific research into climate and marine ecology, surveying the ocean floors to ensure safer navigation of merchant vessels, and collecting information for oil and gas or other seabed mining activities.
However, there are also equally clear naval applications: Hydrographic data ease the movement of naval surface ships. More important, they provide crucial information for submarines and for those tasked with hunting them. Over the coming years, the study of the oceans and the seabed is likely to become a source of power and influence in the Indo-Pacific region.
Read the full article on Asia Times