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Un-crewed Underwater Technologies in the Arctic

The substantial overlap between military, academic, and economic applications1 and the furtive nature of deployed uninhabited underwater technologies in the Arctic have contributed to instability in the security of the Arctic Circle.  With the undeniable effects of climate change, significantly rising global temperatures and shrinking ice caps, the Arctic Circle is quickly becoming a new frontier amongst the world’s military powers, including the United States, Russia, and China.2  The warming of the earth provides new economic opportunities: faster trade and communication routes, new locations for natural resource extraction, and sources for renewable energy production.  These new opportunities are leading to increased tensions between Arctic states over accessibility to the region, even encompassing actors from outside the region such as China, Japan, and the European Union.  Many of these nations vying for influence and opportunity in the Arctic have deployed uninhabited underwater technologies to assist with underwater missions in gathering and analysing geological and environmental data for military and civilian purposes.  Due to the inherent overlap of international security and economic opportunity in the Arctic, the implementation of such dual-use uninhabited underwater technologies (e.g. uninhabited underwater vehicles) has complicated strategic responses, increased tensions in the region and thwarted international treaty and legal statute enforcement.3

Russian nuclear icebreaker Yamal in 2015. By Tuomas Romu, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52262282

This article will first provide an overview of the Arctic strategic landscape and the resurgent great power competition in the region, focusing primarily on the role of dual-use technologies and the effects of anthropogenic climate change.  A delineation of uninhabited underwater technologies, such as uninhabited underwater vehicles (UUVs)4 as dual-use technologies, with both military and economic applications, will follow.  Thirdly, within the context of Arctic competition, several developments and deployments of American and Russian technologies will be assessed as case studies showcasing their role in the uncertain security situation of the Arctic.  Lastly, this article will examine responses to the region’s insecurity, including militaristic response approaches, such as anti-submarine warfare technologies and risk mitigations strategies such as legal statutes and agreements controlling dual-use technologies in the region.

A New Frontier for International Security

The Arctic is quickly emerging as a new frontier for great power competition due to rapid anthropogenic global warming, technological advancements, an abundance of natural resources and its future as a transportation corridor between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.5  Despite competing territorial claims between many of the eight Arctic States6 there is a history of cooperation in the region, including between the United States of America and Russia, despite their confrontations in other parts of the world, for example, in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine.7  Nevertheless, confrontation and conflict spill-over in the Arctic is possible in the near future.8  From a realist approach, the region’s insecurity is primarily caused by a security dilemma9 between Arctic States due to uncertainty regarding other actors’ intentions and the increasingly unstable environmental stability of the region.10

Royal Navy submarine HMS Trenchant breaks through the ice of the North Pole as Polar Ice Exercise 18 Royal Navy Photo.

Climate change is rapidly increasing the accessibility of the Arctic.  The region has warmed by 0.75°C over the past decade outpacing the global average.11  As sea ice decreases in thickness, age, and cover due to global warming, previously unusable shipping routes are increasingly accessible.12  For example, in 2017, a tanker was able to travel through the Northeast passage without assistance from an icebreaker for the first time in history.13   Additionally, as the ice recedes, new opportunities for profitable natural resource extraction arise.  The Arctic is estimated to hold twenty-five per cent of the world’s undiscovered sources of natural gas and oil, which can be extracted via offshore rigs.  At the same time, coal and other minerals, such as copper and nickel, which are found in vast quantities on arctic lands, can be mined either on land after permafrost thawing or through new underwater mining technologies.14  Due to this abundance of resources and opportunities, Arctic States have concentrated their strengths on ensuring territorial sovereignty in the region over their coastal regions and islands and their internal waters, giving rise to tensions between each other.  The United States and Canada have protracted contests about the status of the Beaufort Sea, with regards to fishing rights and the Northwest Passage, over its status as either Canadian internal waters or international waters.  Denmark, Russia, and Canada are in disagreement over the ownership of the continental shelf of the Lomonosov Ridge, an underwater mountain chain intersecting the Arctic basin, whose owner would have sovereign rights of resource exploitation.  While these clashes are currently ‘cold’ in nature, with increasing resource scarcity outside the Arctic region their exacerbation to armed conflicts is not implausible.

Arctic accessibility has also been aided by technological advancements allowing for more precise surveillance, intelligence gathering and year-round deployments in the frozen region.  Submarines, satellites, and uninhabited drones permit for granular and real-time surveying of the region both above and below the ice, allowing exploration and exploitation to continue into the winter months despite the harsh conditions.15  Although currently owned and used only by Russia, nuclear icebreakers allow for long-term, year-round penetration of the region’s routes for trade, supply, research, and even tourism purposes and are more effective than their diesel counterparts operated by other Arctic States.16  With access to new sources of natural resources, aided by thawing ice and new technologies, Arctic States are prioritising their sovereignty across the region, focusing on territorial claims, extraction rights and freedom of navigation throughout the region, essentially destabilising the region.17  This instability is exacerbated by the deployment of dual-use technologies, including the use of uninhabited underwater technologies.

Dual-Use Uninhabited Underwater Technologies in the Arctic

Dual-use technologies are those with both military and civilian purposes.  They can also include developmental research and resultant products which may be used for either purpose mentioned above.  They can be divided as those requiring adaptation for military use and those not needing modification, or as those initially developed for military uses and later adapted for civilian use and vice versa.  A prominent aspect of dual-use technology is that “actors do not know whether their opponents will use their technology for defensive or offensive purposes,” which frequently intensifies insecurities in the international arena.18  This unknown element is also present in the deployment of uninhabited underwater devices used in the Arctic and serves as a prime example of such insecurity-creating dual-use technologies.

Underwater technologies, such as UUVs, can be deployed to assess and examine natural resource deposits in the region and survey the seafloor to determine subsurface territorial boundaries.  The resultant research, in turn, can be used for either civilian and peaceful or for military and aggressive purposes.  As UUVs may be initially deployed for nonviolent purposes, but the resulting data collated and analysed by them can be used for militaristic resolves, their deployment is inherently dual-use.

US Navy Sailor prepare an uncrewed underwater vehicle. Photo US Navy.

As a semi-enclosed ocean, the Arctic is a maritime environment.  Due to its icy conditions, is well suited for the use of uninhabited underwater vehicles that can perform a variety of tasks “deemed too risky, mundane or expensive for human crews”.19  UUVs are submersible vehicles that function underwater without a human occupant and are either remotely operated or autonomous.  They have wide dual-use applications, including underwater surveys for the oil industry, search and recovery duties and environmental studies, in addition to military uses, such as surveillance, sea-based demining, mine countermeasures and submarine warfare.20212223  UUVs are frequently outfitted with various sensors, including depth sensors and side-scan sonar, that create large images of the seafloor.  UUVs are not a new technology in the Arctic: the first deployment of a UUV in the region occurred in 1972, resulting in the detailed profiling of about 1.4 kilometers of ice topography using sonar.24

UUVs are prime examples of the role of military-led innovations in the sphere of technology advancement that have contributed to wider societally adopted technologies.  The development of the first UUV by the University of Washington was funded by the Office of Naval Research of the United States in 1957.  After further development by the U.S. Navy over the following decades UUVs extended into commercial uses, including shipwreck discovery and the natural resource extraction industry.25  UUVs have been deployed in the Arctic by different states for both civilian and military purposes, thus contributing to the region’s dual-use security dilemma.

Dual-Use Technologies and Instability in the Arctic

 With the Arctic quickly becoming a stage for new geopolitical competition, a new security dilemma is emerging as the states surrounding adopt competing Arctic strategies and developed new military capabilities in the region.26  One aspect of this security dilemma is the lack of certainty about other actors’ use of technology in the region, showcased by recent actions and reactions from both the United States and Russia.

The United States has consistently deployed UUVs to the Arctic since the first deployment in 1972.27  In recent years the use of UUVs in the region has accelerated. In 2016, the U.S. Navy, along with MIT and General Dynamics, tested UUVs in the region to “validate and assess operational capabilities in the Arctic while continuing scientific research and military training in extreme conditions and in the undersea environment”.28  In 2017, the U.S. Navy established its first uninhabited undersea squadron.29  Since then, they have partnered with Boeing to develop “Orcas” – large UUVs used to measure environmental changes such as thinning sea ice, but also serve military purposes, including laying mines and gathering intelligence.  The Orca UUV can reportedly stay at sea for six months, carrying up to eight tons of payload and autonomously covering more than 6,500 nautical miles during one deployment.30  With the United States’ constant deployment of UUVs in the region, which are difficult to track and inherently dual-use, the region’s insecurity has increased as other actors cannot discern the purpose for the deployment of the UUVs.  As there is no supranational authority in the Arctic, or indeed globally, other states in the region must assume and prepare for military scenarios. This gives rise to a security dilemma and cycle of militarisation and power accumulation in the region, which has already begun in the region due to extant Arctic geopolitical tensions.3132

Underwater Vehicle during Ice Exercise (ICEX) 2016. US Navy Photo.

Russia is also developing and deploying UUVs for use in the Arctic, ostensibly for research purposes.  In 2016, Moscow publicised the existence of a new underwater drone, specifically for military and research purposes in the Arctic.33  The Russian Foundation for Advanced Studies, the Russian equivalent of America’s DARPA, recently noted it is preparing “fully autonomous underwater, under-ice, development of hydrocarbon fields in the Arctic seas with severe ice conditions”.  Last year, Russia’s Ministry of Defense released photos of a UUV capable of destroying below-surface drones and mines.34  American intelligence has suggested that Russia is even building an uninhabited undersea drone capable of carrying a small, tactical nuclear weapon against harbours or coastal areas.35  Similarly to the situation created by American actions in the region by the development and deployment of UUVs, Russia’s use of such furtive and twofold technologies also increases the intensity of the security dilemma present in the Arctic.

With the utilisation of these new developments, the Arctic region is destabilising further due to the inability of actors to distil each other’s intentions and the stealth nature of UUVs.  As with many other aspects of military strategy, including other dual-use technologies, discerning the true intentions of UUVs’ users is inherently impossible.  Furthermore, even in cases where a UUV is used for solely research purposes, the scientific data gathered could inform military tactics and strategy.  For example, information about melting sea ice can inform on possible routes for naval ships, such as aircraft carriers.  A recent example is Russia’s surveying of the sub-Arctic seafloor allegedly for the laying of underwater communication cables.  However, such a survey could also be used to plan submarine routes, locate suitable seafloor locations for minelaying, or cut enemy communication cables.36  Similarly, a UUV may initially be deployed with a publicly acknowledged scientific function to reach a destination while obfuscating its true purpose, possibly to spy on enemy naval movements or detonate an explosive payload.  Even if the scientific function is publicly acknowledged, the lack of enforcement, as aforementioned, ensures there is no confirmatory mechanism.  This lack of certainty has created an underwater security dilemma between the United States and Russia as well as between other actors, including China37 and South Korea38, who are also developing their own UUVs. 3941   UUVs are extremely difficult to detect and track and can easily elude enemy capture and destruction, which is another cause for concern for states in the region as it complicates both response and risk mitigation strategies.

Response and Mitigation Strategies for the Dual-Use Security Dilemma in the Arctic

In reaction to the security dilemma of Arctic States, exacerbated by the deployment of UUVs, states must develop both response and risk mitigation strategies.42   Nevertheless, due to UUVs’ relative novelty as tools for international security and warfare, both responses to their deployment and mitigation strategies are currently underdeveloped, which, in turn, has also expanded the insecurity in the Arctic.

Risk mitigation strategies are approaches in the international arena which attempt to minimise the risk of conflict through agreements and legal statutes.  International agreements have been used to restrict the proliferation of other uninhabited vehicles, such as aerial drones, but have generally been unsuccessful in hindering their spread.43   International laws have, in contrast, seen more success in preventing the use of varied military technologies.  For example, the Chemical Weapons Convention has succeeded in ensuring that over 96 per cent of all chemical weapon stockpiles declared by possessor States have been destroyed.44   However, the legal status of UUVs, and in fact of all uncrewed maritime vehicles, is uncertain.  Due to their small size, limited operations, and novelty, little attention has been paid to how they fit into the international legal framework.4546  Many questions on UUVs’ use in the open ocean remain unanswered: Is the UUV a sovereign part of its state of origin and thus immune from arrest by other nations?  Must it operate on the surface in another nation’s territorial sea?  May it operate there at all?  Deciding upon the legal status of UUVs in both domestic and international law is crucial for the security of states and their territorial seas.47  Legal uncertainty in the international arena is another feature of the security dilemma and fragile stability of the global order.48  Increased ambiguity surrounding the legality of UUV deployment in both open waters and territorial seas, including those within the Arctic Circle, contribute to the security dilemma in the region and the uncertainty of intentions behind UUV utilisation.  A clear legal status of UUVs, for example, like ships or extensions thereof, would classify them under the rules of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).  This would allow UUVs to act accordingly in the regions of the sea as determined by UNCLOS, clarifying where they may be deployed and for what purposes.49  Within the different zones, states could enforce the rules currently pertaining to maritime vessels to UUVs, restricting the choice of actions of the UUV-controlling state.  However, UNCLOS is not invoiable. the United States has not ratified UNCLOS while many other states, including Russia and China, often criticise and disrespect its clauses.  Additionally, international law enforcement is often ineffective and a contentious aspect of international relations.  Thus, although enforcing UUV use under the clauses of UNCLOS could alleviate some tensions due to their use in the Arctic, it is far from a panacea.  Due to the lack of a clear legal status for UUVs and the unenforceability of international law, states must develop more reliable response strategies to UUV deployments.

UUVs possess capabilities that may be used for a wide variety of military missions, including maritime reconnaissance, search and survey, communication and navigational aids, and submarine track and trail.  As previously discussed, since the true intentions behind their deployment are almost indistinguishable, states must prepare an extensive response toolkit, resulting in a cat-and-mouse-like game between opposing states.  States must deploy sensing and countermeasure assets, for example, acoustic or magnetic tripwires, to determine underwater movements through sensitive passages such as harbours or straights.50  These must be developed and deployed in secrecy to avoid detection from opposing states.  In regions and relationships where tensions are already high, such as in the Arctic and between the U.S. and Russia, anti-submarine warfare is the retaliatory aspect of the security dilemma in response to initial UUV deployment and development, thus also contributing to the broader insecurity of the situation.


The Arctic region is quickly becoming a new frontier in the international arena, exacerbated by climate change and new economic opportunities and the development and deployment of uninhabited underwater vehicles.  In conjunction with their dual-use facets, their fundamentally furtive nature prevents states from understanding the intentions behind their utilisation in the Arctic.  With the increased attention towards this relatively small maritime region by both Arctic and non-Arctic states alike, UUVs are increasingly deployed for civilian and military purposes.  This has lead to the development of counter UUV strategies.  This underwater arms race in the Arctic is a textbook example of a security dilemma between states.  Additionally, the ambiguity of the legal status of UUVs on a global scale contributes to the diminishing stability of security in the Arctic, as UUVs can easily proliferate and lack any international legal restrictions.  Unless a binding and enforceable treaty for the Arctic—which includes clauses and agreements on UUVs—is created in the near future, this instability of the security of the region is only likely to increase.

Cover photo: Ice Camp Sargo, located in the Arctic Circle, serves as the main stage for Ice Exercise (ICEX) 2016. US Navy Photo

Andro Mathewson

Andro Mathewson is a Research Fellow at the Arctic Institute, a Capability Support Officer at the HALO Trust, and a masters student at the University of Edinburgh. His dissertation explores the diffusion of uninhabited underwater vehicles (UUVs) on a global scale. He is interested in international security, military technologies and naval warfare. Andro has previously contributed to The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists,  The Texas National Security Review and the UK Defence Journal. Before his current studies, he was a research fellow at Perry World House at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also received his Bachelor of Arts in PPE and German. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of The HALO Trust.


  1. The U.S. Government defines dual-use technology as “items that can be used both in military and other strategic uses. . . and commercial applications.” The European Commission follows a similar definition. Such technologies, and their derivatives, commonly fall under numerous export restrictions (Harris 2016).
  2. Blunden, Margaret. 2009. “The New Problem of Arctic Stability.” Global Politics and Strategy 51 (5): 121-142
  3. This can be seen as a subset of an overarching wider dual-use security dilemma in the Arctic Circle. A dual-use security dilemma occurs when states face an enemy using technologies with civil and military applications (Lupovici 2021).
  4. For the purposes of this essay the term uninhabited underwater vehicles (UUV) will be used throughout. There is no generally accepted nomenclature, thus the term UUV in this paper will encompass all types of uninhabited underwater vehicles, regardless if autonomous or remotely operated. UUVs are also known as underwater drones, autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROUVs), and unmanned underwater vehicles. For an in-depth account of the the uses of UUVs see: RAND Corporation. 2009. A Survey of Missions for Unmanned Undersea Vehicles. Santa Monica: RAND Corporation. However, as underwater drones are a still developing and early stage technology, much information pertaining to their use and development is still publically unavailable.
  5. Pincus, Rebecca. 2020. “Three-Way Power Dynamics in the Arctic.” Strategic Studies Quarterly 14 (1): 40-63.
  6. The eight Arctic states are Russia, The United States of America, Norway, Canada, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland.
  7. Byers, Michael. 2019. “Cold, dark, and dangerous: international cooperation in the arctic and space.” Polar Record. 55 (1): 32-47.
  8. Rahbek-Clemmensen, Jon. 2016. “The Ukraine crisis moves north.” Polar Record 53 (1): 1–15.
  9. First coined by John Herz in 1950, a security dilemma is a situation in which states are locked in a cycle of power accumulation due to the uncertainty of other state’s intentions (Herz 1950).
  10. Åtland, Kristian. 2014. “Interstate Relations in the Arctic: An Emerging Security Dilemma?” Comparative Strategy 145-166.
  11. Post, Eric. 2019. “The polar regions in a 2°C warmer world.” Science Advances 4 (12).
  12. Farré, Albert Buixadé. 2014. “Commercial Arctic shipping through the Northeast Passage” Polar Geography 37 (4): 298-324.
  13. Mullen, Jethro. 2017. Accessed March 17, 2021. https://money.cnn.com/2017/08/25/news/arctic-ice-tanker-ship/index.html.
  14. Gonchar , Alexander , and Alexander Myaskov. 2017. “Ecological and Economic Prerequisites for the Extraction of Solid Minerals from the Bottom of the Arctic Seas.” E3S Web Conf 21 (1026).
  15. Barnhart, Katherin, et.al. 2015. “Mapping the Future Expansion of Arctic Open Water.” Nature Climate Change 6 (3): 280-85
  16. Andrew H. Henderson. 2006. “Murky Waters: The Legal Status of Unmanned Undersea Vehicles.” Naval Law Review 55-72.
  17. Palosaari, Teemu, and Nina Tynkkynen. 2015. “Cold Ambition: The New Geopolitical Faultline.” In Handbook of the Politics of the Arctic.
  18. Lupovici, Amir. 2021. “The dual-use security dilemma and the social construction of insecurity.” Contemporary Security Policy.
  19. Masunaga, Samantha. 2019. The Navy is starting to put up real money for robot submarines. 19 April. Accessed March 2021. https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-boeing-undersea-drones-navy-contract-20190419-story.html.
  20. Kamp, John, et. al. 2009. A Survey of Missions for Unmanned Undersea Vehicles. National Defense Research Institute, RAND.
  21. Lindborg, Kristina. 2014. Military ramps up use of underwater drones. What do they do? 16 July. Accessed March 2021.
  22. Carafano, James, and Andrew Gudgel. 2007. The Pentagon’s Robots: Arming the Future. The Heritage Foundation.
  23. Gallagher, Kevin. December 8, 2016. The Simulyze Blog. Accessed March 17, 2021. https://www.simulyze.com/blog/from-land-to-sea-5-ways-drones-are-impacting-underwater-operations.
  24. Norgren, Petter, et. al. 2014. “Unmanned underwater vehicles in Arctic operations.” 22nd IAHR International Symposium on Ice.
  25. Folk, Emily. September 10, 2018. The History of Underwater Drones. Accessed March 17, 2021. https://www.droneblog.com/2018/09/10/the-history-of-underwater-drones.
  26. Åtland, Kristian. 2014. “Interstate Relations in the Arctic: An Emerging Security Dilemma?” Comparative Strategy 145-166.
  27. Norgren, Petter, et. al. 2014. “Unmanned underwater vehicles in Arctic operations.” 22nd IAHR International Symposium on Ice.
  28. General Dynamics. 2016. Bluefin UUV Dives Deep into the Arctic at U.S. Navy Exercise. 16 September. Accessed March 19, 2021. https://gdmissionsystems.com/articles/2016/09/16/news-2016-bluefin-uuv-goes-deep-into-the-arctic-at-icex-2016.
  29. AUVSI. Navy Establishes First UUV Squadron. https://www.auvsi.org/navy-establishes-first-uuv-squadron-uuvron-1.
  30. Baker, Berenice. 2020. Orca XLUUV: Boeing’s whale of an unmanned sub. 30 January. Accessed March 19, 2021. https://www.naval-technology.com/features/boeing-orca-xluuv-unmanned-submarine/.
  31. Saxena, Abhishek. 2020. The Return of Great Power Competition to the Arctic. 22 October. Accessed April 1, 2021. https://www.thearcticinstitute.org/return-great-power-competition-arctic/.
  32. The notion that the world is anarchic in nature due to the fact that there is no supranational authority dictating global politics is central to realist and neo-realist theory. This in turn leads to a situation, in which states prioritise security over all other concerns as there is no guarantee of safety except through military power. While there is truthfully no omni powerful supranational authority able to guarantee security for states, the notion that the world is thus completely anarchic is debated by international relations scholars. For a in-depth overview of these competing and other theorems in international relations see: Ikenberry, G. John. “Liberalism in a Realist World.” International Studies 46, no. 1–2 (January 2009): 203–19 and Nye, Joseph S. “Neorealism and Neoliberalism.” World Politics 40, no. 2 (1988): 235-51. Accessed April 1, 2021. This notion of anarchy is remarkably tangible in the Arctic – despite the existence of the Arctic Council and bilateral treaties between Arctic states, there is no agreement of demilitarization, such as the Antarctic Treaty System, which sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve, establishes freedom of scientific investigation, and bans military activity on the continent.
  33. Nilsen, Thomas. 2016. The Barents Observer. 2 July. Accessed March 19, 2021. https://thebarentsobserver.com/ru/node/958.
  34. Defense World. 2020. Defense World. 1 June. Accessed March 19, 2021. https://www.defenseworld.net/news/27105/Russian_Firm_Developing_Underwater_Drone_Killer.
  35. Sanger, David E., and Eric Schmitt. 2015. Russian Ships Near Data Cables Are Too Close for U.S. Comfort. Accessed March 19, 2021.
  36. Sanger, David E., and Eric Schmitt. 2015. Russian Ships Near Data Cables Are Too Close for U.S. Comfort. Accessed March 19, 2021.
  37. In 2018, China unveiled its Arctic policy, labelling itself a “near-Arctic” state. Its strategic interests in the region are largely economic concerns related to energy cooperation with Russia and faster trade corridors for its large fleet. However, since 2014, China has consistently run an Arctic acoustic research program using icebreakers and underwater drones – obsessively for research purposes, which could be however serving a dual purpose (Koh 2020).
  38. South Korea similarly is interested primarily in securing energy sources in the Arctic, as well, as a maritime nation, ensuring access to global shipping routes through the region (Tonami 2013). South Korea is also developing underwater drones in response to further military technological developments by North Korea and to enhance anti-submarine warfare to deal with future potential threats from neighboring countries and regional powers (Yoon 2020).
  39. Sutton, H I. 2019. China Navy Reveals New Large Underwater Robot Which Could Be A Game Changer. 1 October. Accessed March 19, 2021. https://www.forbes.com/sites/hisutton/2019/10/01/china-reveals-new-robot-underwater-vehicle-hsu-001/?sh=c35fb0919910.
  40. Yoon, Sukjoon. 2020. Make Way for South Korea’s Underwater Drones. 19 February. Accessed March 19, 2021. https://thediplomat.com/2020/02/make-way-for-south-koreas-underwater-drones/.[/note]  This uncertainty is also compounded by the secretive characteristic of submarine warfare as a whole, which, in the case of UUVs specifically, is intensified due to their inaudibility and relatively small size, especially in busy waterways and noisy harbours.40Draper. 2021. How Unmanned Underwater Vehicles Could Become Easier to Detec. 25 January. Accessed March 19, 2021. https://www.draper.com/news-releases/how-unmanned-underwater-vehicles-could-become-easier-detect.
  41. For the purpose of this paper, response strategies refers to military-led responses to the deployment of UUVs. Risk mitigation strategies, are diplomatic policies involve tactics to manage the use of UUVs in the region to reduce the instability created by their use, including legal statutes, bi- and multi-lateral agreements, and export control regimes, such as the Missile Technology Control Regime, which seeks to limit the proliferation of missiles and aerial drones, in order to mitigate their widespread use and the resultant tensions.
  42. Mathewson, Andro, and Michael C. Horowitz. 2018. A way to rein in drone proliferation. 30 November. Accessed April 2, 2021. https://thebulletin.org/2018/11/a-way-to-rein-in-drone-proliferation/.
  43. OPCW. 2018. Chemical Weapons Convention Embodies Universal Values, Asserts OPCW Director-General During Visit to Italy.
  44. Veal, Robert, Michael Tsimplis, and Andrew Serdy. 2019. “The Legal Status and Operation of Unmanned Maritime Vehicles.” Ocean Development & International Law 23-48 .
  45. Schmitt, Michael N., and David Goddard. 2016. “International law and the military use of unmanned maritime systems.” International Review of the Red Cross 567–592.
  46. Andrew H. Henderson. 2006. “Murky Waters: The Legal Status of Unmanned Undersea Vehicles.” Naval Law Review 55-72.
  47. Kessler, Oliver. 2011. “The same as it never was? Uncertainty and the changing contours of international law.” Review of International Studies 2163-2182.
  48. UNCLOS determines different zones from the coastline of coastal states. In internal and territorial waters (out to 12km from the baseline, set by the mean low water mark), states are free to set and enforce their own laws. Within the contiguous zone, another 12km from the territorial waters mark, states enforce customs, taxation, immigration, and pollution. Exclusive economic zones or EEZs are extended 370km from the baseline and provide states with sole exploitation rights over all natural resources. The final zone, the continental shelf, follows the natural prolongation of the land to the continental margin’s outer edge. Outside these zones are the high seas or international waters (Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982).
  49. National Research Council. 2005. Autonomous Vehicles in Support of Naval Operations. Washington D.C.: The National Academies Press.

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