Indian Ocean Power Competition

Indo-Pacific Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA) Initiative


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : IPMDA Initiative, QUAD

Mains level : NA

Central Idea

  • The Indo-Pacific Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA) initiative, recently unveiled by the Quad grouping (India, Australia, Japan, and the U.S.), underscores a shared commitment to uphold a free, open, inclusive, and rules-based Indo-Pacific.

What is IPMDA Initiative?

  • IPMDA Initiative was announced at the Quad Leaders’ Summit in Tokyo, 2022.
  • It primarily aims to track dark shipping.
  • Dark ships are vessels with their Automatic Identification System (AIS) – a transponder system – switched off so as not to be detectable.
  • It focuses on tracking other tactical-level activities: to respond to climate and humanitarian events and to protect their fisheries, which are vital to many Indo-Pacific economies.

Significance of IPMDA for India

  • IPMDA represents a substantial effort to bolster security and stability in the Indo-Pacific, a region of paramount global geopolitical significance.
  • India’s Navy, currently possessing over 140 ships and submarines, is on course to achieve a formidable fleet of 170 to 180 vessels by 2028.

Lessons from Recent Events

  • Recent global events, including the border standoff with China in eastern Ladakh, conflicts in Ukraine, and turmoil in West Asia, underscore the need for resilience and readiness in the face of uncertainties.
  • Indian Navy recognizes the importance of integrated joint operations and a holistic approach to national defense, and a well-coordinated defense strategy involving all three Services.

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