The United States will aid India in developing its naval and maritime infrastructure to create an Indo-Pacific regional hub for ship repairs and maintenance.
Developing India’s ship repair capability would also deny China from gaining its own foothold in the strategically located country.
The news came after the creation of the India-US Defense Acceleration Ecosystem, also referred to as the INDUS-X.
It was launched on 21st June when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the U.S. The U.S. Department of Defense (D0D) issued a statement stating that INDUS-X would ‘vitalise’ the cooperation between the two nations in the defence sector.
Building and strengthening India’s maritime capability would bolster the allied forces in the Indo-Pacific.
China’s naval presence at Djibouti, Africa, Gwadar in Pakistan and Hambantota in Sri Lanka, which fell into the hands of the Chinese in 2017 following Colombo’s inability to repay China’s loans, is a key influence in the U.S. efforts to secure access to Indian maritime infrastructure.
On 22nd June, a spokesperson from the U.S. Defense Department mentioned that fostering strong defence ties between India and the U.S. was part of a ‘wide-ranging and strategic partnership’ centred on cooperation in the areas of military and national security.
Hence, an important aspect of this mutually beneficial relationship would be the development of a naval ship repair and maintenance hub in India that would be used by the U.S. and its allies.
The U.S. has a large maritime network and maritime support facilities in the Indo-Pacific.
India would become another crucial element in the United States Regional Support System.
The U.S. Navy has the support of many allies and partners in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Region, who aid the former’s vessels in ship repair and maintenance.
The U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, based at U.S. Navy Support Activity at Mina Salman, Bahrain, can use several sites in the Kingdom or its neighbours for ship repair and maintenance. Its warships earlier utilised Jebel Ali, UAE, for mid-deployment voyage repairs.
Oman has top-class drydock facilities at Duqm, which can accommodate tankers far bigger than the largest U.S. Navy Warships, the Gerald Ford-class Aircraft Carriers.
The U.S. 7th Fleet based at Yokosuka in Japan can use the local ship repair facilities.
The country has deployed 4 Littoral Combat Ships at the Changi Naval Base, Singapore, where it has naval facilities for its maritime assets.
References: naval technology, wionews
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