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First Ever US Navy Ship Arrives in India for Repairs

The arrival of US ship for repairs to India is considered a major boost to “Make in India” and “Self Reliance in Defence”

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Raju Vernekar
Raju Vernekar
Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

INDIA. Mumbai: As part of the Indo-US strategic partnership, US Navy Ship (USNS) ‘The Charles Drew’ arrived at L&T’s Shipyard at Kattupalli, Chennai, to undertake repairs and allied services on August 07, Sunday.

The ship will be at the Kattupalli shipyard for 11 days and undergo repairs in various areas. The arrival of US ship for repairs to India is considered a major boost to “Make in India” and “Self Reliance in Defence”.

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The US Navy has awarded a contract to L&T’s Shipyard at Kattupalli for ship maintenance. Indian shipyards offer wide-ranging, cost-effective ship repair and maintenance services using advanced maritime technology platforms. 

According to an official release, the arrival of US ships for repairs demonstrates the competitiveness of Indian shipyards in the international market for ship repairs.

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Rear Admiral S Venkat Raman, Flag Officer Commanding Tamil Nadu & Puducherry Naval Area, Vice Admiral SN Ghormade, and other senior members of the Defence Ministry paid a visit to the shipyard to welcome the vessel.

Rear Admiral Michael Baker, the US Embassy in New Delhi’s defence attaché, and Ms. Judith Ravin, the consul general in Chennai, were also present.

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Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar termed the event a red-letter day for the Indian shipbuilding industry and the Indo-US defence relationship. “We are pleased to welcome US Naval Ship USNS Charles Drew to India for making her voyage ready,” he said.

He described the arrival of the US ship for repairs as a sign of maturing Indian shipbuilding industry and added that today, India has six major shipyards with a turnover of nearly $2 billion.  “We are making ships not only for our requirements. We have our own design house capable of making all kinds of state-of-the-art ships”.

“The country’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Vikrant is a shining example of the growth of the Indian shipbuilding industry. Under the innovation ecosystem, Goa Shipyard Limited and some of our start-ups have built vessels capable of undertaking autonomous missions. The shipbuilding industry today is not just carrying out conventional things, but is also amalgamating the latest technologies with it,” Dr Ajay Kumar said.

“Indian defence exports, which were worth about Rs 1,500 crore in 2015-16, have now grown by 800% to around Rs 13,000 crore. A major destination for Indian exports is the US,” Dr Ajay Kumar said and thanked the US partners for their cooperation and support to the Indian defence industry. 

US Consul General in Chennai Ms Judith Ravin, said: “In April, at the US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin affirmed their intention to explore utilizing Indian shipyards for repairs on US Navy vessels. This inaugural repair of USNS Charles Drew is a landmark development to be celebrated as a symbol of our strengthened US-India partnership.”

Defence Attaché at the US Embassy at New Delhi, Rear Admiral Michael Baker, said: “Our shipping industries positively contribute to a free and open Indo-Pacific by partnering to deliver effective, efficient, and economical repair of military vessels.”

JD Patil, a member of the Executive Council and advisor to the CEO of L&T for Defence and Smart Technologies (L&TDST), stated that the US Navy’s Marine Sealift Command had rigorously evaluated a few Indian shipyards and had given L&T the go-ahead to repair their boats. 

It honours the shipyard’s cutting-edge facilities, which were constructed in accordance with international standards.

Also Read: US Navy Unleashes Four Warships Amid Nancy Pelosi’s Controversial Visit To Taipei

Author

  • Raju Vernekar

    Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

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