US Navy rescue and salvage ship USNS Salvor became the first ship from the US Navy to visit the L&T Shipyard in Kattupalli in North Chennai after the US Navy signed a five-year Master Ship Repair Agreement with Larsen & Toubro in June. The agreement, which strengthens US-India Naval Sector Repair and Maintenance Cooperation, is the first by the US Navy with an Indian shipyard.
The ship docked at the L&T Shipyard is the third ship of the US Navy to visit the shipyard in less than a year for voyage repairs after USNS Charles Drew and USNS Matthew Perry. It will be in the shipyard for two weeks, said Arun Ramchandani, Executive Vice President and Head- Defence IC, L&T.
The USNS Salvor is a rescue and salvage ship used as a platform to support recovery missions. It regularly conducts salvage, diving, towing, offshore firefighting, heavy-lift operations, and theatre security cooperation missions. It serves as an element of the United States Navy’s Combat Logistics Support Force and provides rescue and salvage services to the fleet at sea.
Consul General in Chennai Judith Ravin said, the MSRA is yet another milestone in our ever-expanding US.-India partnership. This agreement is a direct outcome of the 2022 US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue and demonstrates US commitment to utilise repair facilities regularly at the L&T Shipyard in Kattupalli. This agreement will strengthen the two nations’ strategic partnership and contribute to a free and open Indo-Pacific.
US Embassy New Delhi’s Office of Defence Cooperation chief Michael L. Farmer told newspersons that the US Navy is open to having a similar tie-up with other shipyards on the West Coast that comply with the necessary standards. Chennai is strategically located for carrying out repairs, he said. The US Navy does repair for its ships in countries like Japan and South Korea, where it has a presence, he added.
Ramchandani said it is difficult to give the number of ships from the US Navy that will arrive at Katupalli for repair works. He did not reveal the order size of the repairs for Salvor..