The Defence Ministry announced that in a massive boost to ‘Aatmanirbharta in Defence’ and ‘Make in India’ initiatives, a US Navy Ship (USNS) dubbed the Charles Drew arrived at L&T’s Shipyard based in Chennai’s Kattupalli on 7 August to undergo repair activities and allied services.
Per an official release, this is the first repair of a US Navy ship in India. The US Navy rewarded a contract to L&T’s Shipyard based in Kattupalli to undertake the vessel’s maintenance. The event signifies the possibilities and capabilities of Indian shipyards in the worldwide ship repairing market.
To a query, an L&T official has said that the contract for repairing the US vessel has further opened doors for similar opportunities.
Dr Ajay Kumar, Defence Secretary, who paid a visit to the shipyard, described the event as a sign of maturing Indian shipbuilding industry.
He added that India currently boasts six big shipyards with a turnover of approximately $2 billion. The country is making ships not only for its requirements. We also have a design house capable of making all sorts of state-of-the-art vessels.
India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier named IAC Vikrant is a prime example of the growth of India’s shipbuilding industry. In the new and unique innovation ecosystem, vessels capable of embarking on autonomous missions have reportedly been built by Goa Shipyard Limited and some other start-ups. The Indian shipbuilding industry is not simply doing conventional things but is amalgamating the updated technologies.
The Defence Secretary noted that the ties between the US and India have expanded in scope and scale. Indian defence exports have experienced a significant increase in the last four to five years.
Exports worth nearly Rs 1,500 crore in 2015 and 2016 have grown by almost 800% to approximately Rs 13,000 crore. A significant destination for India’s exports is the US, Dr Ajay Kumar reminded.
Notably, the USNS Charles Drew will remain at the Kattupalli shipyard for about 11 days and undergo heavy repairs in some areas.
References: The Times Of India, Times Now, India.com