Captain Kamlesh Kumar Agnihotri (Retd)

Captain Kamlesh Kumar Agnihotri (Retd)

Senior Fellow

Areas of Research

  • Chinese maritime issues
  • Indian Ocean security matters and
  • Complex dynamics in the broader Indo-Pacific Region


Captain Kamlesh Kumar Agnihotri (Retd) is a Senior Fellow at the National Maritime Foundation (NMF). Prior to this assignment, he was a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Joint Warfare Studies (CENJOWS), New Delhi, till his retirement in June 2021. His specialised field of work for last 15 years, has been on Chinese Defense Forces, particularly the Chinese Navy.

He has earlier worked at the Maritime Doctrine and Concepts Centre (MDCC) at Mumbai in the Strategic Maritime Assessment Team (SMAT); where he carried out detailed measurement of China’s maritime and naval capabilities relating specifically to the Chinese Navy’s platforms, equipment, training effort, technological ascendency and evolving operational patterns. Foundation for this intensive research was laid during his tenure at the Maritime Warfare Centre (MWC), Visakhapatnam; where he was involved with detailed planning for addressing the increasing intensity and frequency of Chinese naval presence in the Indian Ocean Region.

The Officer has had a prolonged tenure at NMF earlier too, during which he developed specialised knowledge-base on China and consolidated the same to a great extent. His in-depth knowledge of the China related security matters enabled him to publish four books, and author several research articles in various think tanks’ Journals. His last Book is titled “Strategic Direction of the Chinese Navy: Capability and Intent Assessment” (2015).

He is a naval missile and Gunnery specialist.  He commanded a Landing Craft Utility ship (LCU) at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. He has also qualified as a Remote Sensing, satellite imagery interpretation and Photogrammetry analyst. He has also acquired an Advanced Diploma in Chinese language in order to complement his scholarly and research work.




All Publications



Author: Abstract The ‘work report’ speech of the Chinese President in the 20th National Party Congress (NPC) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) had domestic orientation covering various themes related to the governance of the nation and the indispensable role that Party’s had to play therein.  Even though maritime security and the measures required to […]


Author: On Sunday, 31 July 2022, by Presidential Decree 512, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin approved the 2022 Maritime Doctrine of the Russian Federation, which replaces the 2015 maritime doctrine.  Released on the occasion of the Russia’s 326th Navy Day celebrations (traditionally held annually on the last Sunday of July) in St Petersburg, the new maritime doctrine […]


Author: One of the major casualties of the Russia-Ukraine conflict was the loss of the Russian Navy cruiser, the Moskva, in the Black Sea, after an unexplained fire on board.  While Ukraine understandably claimed credit —albeit not yet corroborated — the twin factors of the constricted Black Sea geography and the sub-optimal utilisation of a capital […]
  • Leveraging of High Technology Developments by China in Military and Maritime Domain: Impact on the Indian Ocean Regional Security“, Knowledge World, New Delhi (2021) ORDER HERE
  • The Strategic Direction of the Chinese Navy – Capability and Intent Assessment”, Bloomsbury, New Delhi, (2016)
  • Co-edited Volume entitled “Maritime Power Building: New Mantra for China’s Rise”. Pentagon Publishers, New Delhi (2015)
  • Co-edited Volume entitled “Technological Developments in the Maritime Domain and their Strategic Implications in the Indian Ocean Region”. Knowledge World Publication, New Delhi (2013)
  • Co-edited Volume entitled “Security Challenges along the Indian Ocean Littoral – Indian and US Perspectives”. Matrix Publication, New Delhi (2011)
  • “South China Sea Dispute and its Impact on Regional Stability” (Chapter 5), in Vijay Sakhuja and Kapil Narula ed. ‘Maritime Dynamics in the Indo-Pacific’ (Vij Books, New Delhi, 2016)
  • “PLA Navy in ‘Military Operations Other than War’ and Diplomacy Roles” (Chapter-3) in Kamlesh K Agnihotri and Gurpreet S Khurana ed. ‘Maritime Power Building: New Mantra for China’s Rise’ (Pentagon Press, New Delhi, 2015)
  • Protection of Trade and Energy Supplies in the Indian Ocean Region (Chapter-4) in Sreemati Ganguli ed. ‘Strategising Energy — An Asian Perspective’ (Knowledge World, New Delhi, 2014)
  • “China’s  Anti Access and Area Denial (A2AD) Concept: Asymmetric Challenge” (Chapter-4) in P Kaushiva and Kamlesh K Agnihotri ed. ‘Technological Developments in the Maritime Domain and their Strategic Implications in the Indian Ocean Region’ (Knowledge World, New Delhi, 2013)
  • “Maritime Cooperation between India and China: Drivers for Cooperation” (Chapter-8) in Dipankar Banerjee and Jabin T Jacob ed. ‘Military Confidence Building and India-China Relations: Fighting Distrust’ (Pentagon Press, New Delhi, 2013)
  • “Chinese Military Presence in the Indian Ocean Region” (Chapter-5) in C. Uday Bhaskar and Kamlesh K Agnihotri ed. ‘Security Challenges along the Indian Ocean Littoral – Indian and US Perspectives’ (Matrix Publishers, New Delhi, 2011)
  • UNCLOS and climate-induced maritime challenges: Strategic implications for the Indian Ocean Region”, Maritime Affairs, 18, No. 1 (Summer 2022)
  • Preparedness Risk Mitigation: Priorities for Indian Maritime Forces”, Synergy Journal, August 2021.
  • Unmanned Systems and Manned-Unmanned Teaming: Capability Development Imperatives for India”, Synergy Journal, February 2021.
  • Non-Traditional Security Challenges in Indian Maritime Domain: Strategies for Mitigation”, Synergy Journal, August 2020.
  • High Technology Developments in China: Leveraging for Military Effectiveness”, CENJOWS, March 2019
  • Addressing Maritime Challenges in the Indian Ocean Region: A case for synergising Naval capabilities towards collective benefits”, Journal of Defence Studies, Vol. 10, No. 1, January 2016.
  • China’s ‘Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile’ based Anti-Access Concept: Implications of a Southward Re-orientation”, Journal of Defence Studies, Vol. 7, No. 1, January 2013.
  • 2008 Sichuan Earthquake and Role of Chinese Defence Forces in Disaster Relief”, Journal of Defence Studies, Vol. 6, No. 1, January 2012.
  • Naval Power Dynamics In The Western Pacific Ocean: Impact On Maritime Situation In East And South China Seas”, Maritime Affairs, 9, No. 2 (Winter 2013)
  • “Holistic Maritime Capacity Building: New ‘Route’ to China’s Rise”, Maritime Affairs, 9, No. 1 (Summer 2013)
  • “Chinese Navy’s Submarine Arm: Lynchpin of ‘Active Defense”, Maritime Affairs, 8, No. 2 (Winter 2012)
  • “Modernisation of the Chinese Air Force and implications for India”, Maritime Affairs, 7, No. 2 (Winter 2011)
  • “Modernisation of the Chinese Navy, its Strategic Expansion into the Indian Ocean Region and likely impact on the regional stability”, Maritime Affairs, 7, No. 1 (Summer 2011)
  • “China’s Naval Aviation And Its Prospective Role In Blue Water Capabilities of PLA Navy”, Maritime Affairs, 6, No. 2 (Winter 2010)
  • Strategic Direction Of The PLA Navy – Capability And Intent Assessment”, Maritime Affairs, 6, No. 1 (Summer 2010)
  • “Legal Aspects of Marine Scientific Research in the EEZ: Implications of “Impeccable Incident”. Co-authored with Dr. Sunil Kumar Agarwal. Maritime Affairs, 5, No. 2 (Winter 2009)
  • China’s Continental Strategy Expands into Maritime Domain, India-China Chronicle, November 2013.
  • Maritime Power Building: New ‘Mantra’ for China’s Rise”, Indian Military Review, January 2013, Volume 4, No. 1.
  • The First Chinese Aircraft Carrier: Capability Accretion or Symbolic Statement”, Indian Military Review, November 2012, Volume 3, No. 11.
  • North Korean Rocket Failure: Big Power Dynamics at Play”, Indian Military Review, May 2012, Volume 3, No. 5.
  1. Centre for Joint Warfare Studies (CENJOWS) website (
  • (a) “Stellar Role of Indian Navy in Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971” (March 2021)
  • (b) “C Two Double I: Indian Navy’s Strategy to face the Covid-19 Challenge” (May 2020)
  1. Chanakya Forum Website (

“India-US Maritime Cooperation: Strengthening Security Arrangement in the Indian Ocean Region for Mutual Benefit” (December 2020)

  1. National Maritime Foundation Website (
  • (a) “US-China Naval Interactions: Breaking New Grounds?” (October 2013)
  • (b) “Joint Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Exercises in Asian Context” (June 2013)
  • (c) “Four Years of Anti-Piracy Mission: Chinese Navy’s Showcase Achievement” (January 2013)
  • (d) “Role of Navies in Furthering International Diplomacy” (June 2012)
  • (e) “US Asia-Pacific Military Rebalance: The String of Pearls in Reverse”, co-authored with Raghvendra Mishra (May 2012)
  1. Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis Website (

“Rising Instability and Regional Naval Modernisation in East Asia”, 02 November 2012.

  1. Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies Website (
  • (a) “China’s Peace Ark: The Navy and Band-Aid Diplomacy”, Article No. 4026, 09 July, 2013.
  • (b) “Chinese Aircraft Carrier: Capacity Building and National Pride”, Article No. 3721, 25 September 2012.
  • (c) “Navies and International Diplomacy: The Case of China and India”, Article No. 3663, 02 July 2012.