RUSI Sea Power Conference 2023

Bringing together practitioners and theorists to examine the maritime contribution to conventional deterrence in Europe.

calendarclock - (BST)
locationInstitute of Directors, London / Online


A central question that the navies of NATO members will have to grapple with in the wake of recent events is how to conceive their role in reinforcing deterrence in Europe. The old Corbettian considerations of where navies add deterrent value in a joint context, and how they can influence dynamics on the ground will be critical to understanding how national navies should develop. Equally, deterrence within Europe will be heavily impacted by events in regions well beyond it- meaning that navies will need to balance regional and global imperatives.

This conference will address the trade-offs and choices regarding force design and employment that will need to be made as NATO navies-in particular European ones- evolve to reinforce deterrence in a European security landscape dominated by a great power threat.

Ticket pricing

In Person Conference Tickets

  • RUSI Member price: £120 (inc VAT)
  • Non-Member price: £480 (incl VAT)
  • Non-Member concession price: £240 (incl VAT)
    - Students, under 30s, over 65s and serving military personnel are eligible for our non-member concessionary rate.

Online Conference Tickets

  • RUSI Member price: £30
  • Non-Member price: £60


  • Conference Sponsor: BAE Systems

    At BAE Systems, our people develop technologies to help Governments, their armed forces and security services defend countries, in the air, at sea, on land, in space and in the cyber domain. In the UK we build submarines, warships and some of the world’s most advanced military aircraft, and integrate defence and security systems across all domains. We also maintain and upgrade the Royal Navy’s warships at Portsmouth Naval Base and service the Royal Air Force’s Typhoon fast jet for 24/7 security operations. We make a significant economic and social contribution – delivering £10 billion to UK GDP and in the region of £4 billion in exports each year. In the UK we employ 35,300 people, and we support 143,000 full time jobs, investing £3.8 billion with 5,000 supplier companies. We are committed to levelling up regional communities by transferring knowledge, skills and technology. (Data from ’BAE Systems’ Contribution to the UK Economy’ published 2022)

    View website
  • Martial Power Programme Sponsor: Lockheed Martin

    Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin Corporation is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 114,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. Lockheed Martin has operated in the UK for over 80 years. From postal sorting technology to helping build the UK’s first commercial spaceport, its innovations and partnerships help solve some of the UK’s most complex challenges, contributing to national defence, security and prosperity.

    View website

Main Image Credit UK MOD © Crown copyright 2021

All speakers, apart from Rear Admiral (ret) Nils Wang and Natia Seskuria, will be attending the conference in person.


Sea Power and European Deterrence

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    Registration and Refreshments

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    Opening Remarks

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    Keynote Address

    Chair: Paul O'Neill, Director Military Sciences, RUSI

    Speaker: Vice Admiral Mark Hammond, Chief of Navy, Royal Australian Navy

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    Session One: Sea Power and Deterrence

    How does naval power contribute to deterrence, both independently and as part of a joint force? Where does it add unique strategic and operational value, and which aspects of its contributions should Western Navies emphasise in a context where the primary immediate threat to Europe is a land based one?

    Chair: Professor James Bergeron, Political Advisor to Commander NATO Allied Maritime Command


    Michael Kofman, Director Russia Studies Programme, CNA
    'Deterring the Russians: What maritime threats do the Russians fear?'

    Professor Peter Roberts, Senior Associate Fellow, RUSI
    'The role of sea power in a European conflict'

    Vice Admiral Mark Hammond, Chief of Navy, Royal Australian Navy

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    Session Two: Regional Security: The Seas that Surround Europe

    The sea is not an undifferentiated space, and NATO’s maritime periphery encompasses distinct maritime regions including the Baltic, the Mediterranean and the High North. What are the major challenges faced in each region, and how should allied navies respond to them?

    Chair: Edward Arnold, Research Fellow for European Security, RUSI


    Niklas Granholm, Deputy Director, FOI Sweden; RUSI Associate Fellow
    'The changing security environment in the Baltic Sea'

    Natia Seskuria, RUSI Associate Fellow 
    'The Black Sea after the war in Ukraine'

    Rear Admiral Rune Andersen, Chief of Navy, Royal Norwegian Navy
    'Operations in the High North: Lessons from Cold Response'

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    Session Three: Tactical and Operational Considerations

    How will the tactical dimensions of maritime operations evolve across areas such as IAMD, anti-submarine warfare, strike, and amphibious operations? What are the most significant tactical threats to naval forces, and how should they be met?

    Chair: Rear Admiral Dr Chris Parry, University of Reading


    Bryan Clark, Director Centre for Defence Concepts and Technology, Hudson Institute
    'The Northern Fleet and the ASW Challenge'

    Steve Hart, Head of Business Development UK, Maritime and Land, BAE Systems
    'Complex Air Threats'

     Colonel Philip Kelly, Chief of Staff MoD Carrier Enabled Power Projection
    'Carrier Strike in the European Theatre'

    Lt Colonel William Jerrold, Royal Marines
    'Amphibious Operations on the Northern Flank'

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    Session Four: Force Design

    What considerations should planners and force designers keep in mind moving forward? How should the pursuit of transformative change be balanced against the need to mitigate risk, and what will the future force structures of key European navies look like?

    Chair: Dr Sidharth Kaushal, Research Fellow, Sea Power, RUSI


    Captain Julien Lalanne de Saint Quentin, Naval Attaché of France to the United Kingdom
    'A French Perspective on Force Transformation'

    Rear Admiral James Parkin, Director Develop, Royal Navy
    'The Royal Navy’s Approach to Change'

    Rear Admiral (ret) Nils Wang, Director, Naval Team Denmark
    'Modularity and de Risking Force Design'

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    Closing Remarks

    Dr Sidharth Kaushal, Research Fellow in Sea Power, RUSI

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