India and U.S. have strengthened their defence partnership by forging a Master Ship Repair Agreement or MSRA with a leading Indian Private Defense Company, Larsen and Toubro ( L&T) Shipbuilding Limited.
The U.S. will also finalise two similar agreements with Public Sector Undertakings, Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) and Goa Shipyard, to allow the service and repair of the country’s mid-voyage vessels at Indian naval facilities.
The White House stated on Thursday that the move would enable “cost-effective and time-saving sustainment activities for U.S. military operations across multiple theatres”.
The U.S. administration’s trust in India’s naval capabilities is evident as 3 U.S. Navy vessels underwent repair and maintenance at L& T’s Kattupalli yard close to Chenna in 2022, per sources.
Charles Drew was the 1st U.S. Navy Ship to arrive for maintenance in Chennai in August 2022. Another ship was Mathew Perry which sailed back in March 2023 after being successfully repaired at the shipyard.
This happened after the Indian Government sold the MRO facilities to the U.S. and other Quad members. India offers these facilities at a much more competitive rate, and many Quad members are interested in using them.
Apart from the agreement with HAL for the joint development of GE-F414 engines and procurement of 31 armed MQ-9B SeaGuardian UAVs, the two nations have taken significant steps to increase their defence cooperation.
White House has stated their joint resolve to strengthen undersea domain awareness cooperation.
“The agreement to place three Indian liaison officers in U.S. commands for the first time — deepening our partnership and critical information sharing.”
The U.S. and India have also negotiated, according to the White House, for ‘Security of Supply Arrangement’ and ‘Reciprocal Defense Procurement Arrangement’.
This would allow the supply of defence goods in the event of any sudden supply chain disruptions in future.
Not only this, but they have also made a Defense Industrial Cooperation Roadmap to provide guided policy direction to the industries catering to the defence sector, enabling the joint production of advanced defence systems and collaborating research, testing and prototyping of technologies that would determine the future of military power.
In this regard, on 21st June, the India-US Defense Acceleration Ecosystem — a network of universities, incubators, corporate, think tanks, and private investment stakeholders — was inaugurated to begin collective innovation on defence technologies.
References: eznews, hindubusinessline
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