The First Sea Lord’s Sea Power Conference is the flagship conference of the Royal Navy. The conference brought together stakeholders beyond the boundaries of maritime affairs, linking together chiefs and senior personnel from allied navies and defence establishments, ministers and senior officials, parliamentarians from the House of Commons and House of Lords, business CEOs and other senior representatives, experts, Ambassadors and High Commissioners, and leading reporters from the media.
Steel and statecraft: Mobilising naval power in a competitive age
As a compact maritime democracy, the United Kingdom, and many of its allies and partners, requires cutting-edge technology and the superior art of admiralty to secure a geoeconomic and geopolitical competitive edge, something which enables Britain’s ability to shape the international order. In May 2023, the Council on Geostrategy and King’s College, London, together with the Royal Navy and other senior stakeholders, convened for the First Sea Lord’s Sea Power Conference to explore these issues and engage in a combination of panels and in-conversation sessions in a way which seamlessly includes diverse perspectives and backgrounds from the world over.
The Sea Power Conference took place across two venues: the magnificent Lancaster House and the modern Strand Campus, King’s College London. Both venues are conveniently located close to one another in Central London and are easily accessible by private and public transport.
Location of the venues
XV Patrick Blackett at HMS President
On the afternoon of 17th May there was an opportunity for guests to visit the XV Patrick Blackett which was moored at HMS President on the Thames for London Sea Power Week.
XV Patrick Blackett is the only ship of its class in operation with the Royal Navy. Originally designed as an offshore crew vessel, it has since been re-configured and re-purposed for use as the Royal Navy’s Test and Experimentation platform enabling NavyX to rapidly experiment without needing to place excess demand on the operational fleet. The vessel’s namesake, Patrick Blackett, was a renowned scientist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for physics in 1948. To this day he remains the only former officer from any of the Armed Forces to have achieved this honour. During the Second World War he became Director of Naval Operational Research, and he served as president of the Royal Society from 1965 to 1970. In 1969 was granted a life peerage, taking the title Baron Blackett of Chelsea.
Watch our video on the XV Patrick Blackett here.
We would like to sincerely thank the event sponsors for their important contribution in enabling this high-level event and discussions which enable the Royal Navy and Navies of our allies and partners to uphold their competitive edge.
For any questions, please contact John Dobson, Policy Relations and Events Coordinator
In the first part of a special series, Prof. Alessio Patalano investigates the importance of subsea infrastructure to British security.
In the second part of a special series, Emma Salisbury assesses the challenge posed by the Chinese navy’s submarine force.
In the third part of a special series, Dr John Hemmings analyses America’s 2022 National Security Strategy and US foreign policy.
Prof. Andrew Lambert investigates the art of Admiralty and its importance to the Royal Navy and British foreign policy in the 21st century.
James Rogers analyses what an effective deterrence strategy for the Euro-Atlantic and Indo-Pacific requires and what it may look like.
Prof. Alessio Patalano and Emma Salisbury explain how innovation can provide the UK with a strategic edge in the maritime domain.