The United States and India have agreed to explore the use of Indian shipyards for the repair and maintence of U.S. Navy Military Sealift Command ships.
The agreement was made during this week’s fourth annual U.S.-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, attended by U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III along with India’s Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh and Minister of External Affairs Dr. S. Jaishanka.
During the discussions, the four leaders discussed ways to promote and enhance diplomatic relations between the two countries, including forging new and deeper cooperation across the U.S.-India partnership on issues such as defense, science and technology, trade, climate, public health, and people-to-people ties.
One topic included progress made towards the implementation of an Industrial Security Agreement, with both sides agreeing to explore and further promote “the means to encourage reciprocal participation of U.S. and Indian vendors in each other’s defense supply chains,” according to a joint statement following the meeting.
India’s Ministers, a acknowledging India’s focus on developing its domestic capabilities and helping to ensure reliable defense supplies, committed to “work closely across their respective governments on co-production, co-development, cooperative testing of advanced systems, investment promotion, and the development of Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facilities in India,” the statement said.
“To further enhance defense industrial cooperation in the naval sector, both sides agreed to explore possibilities of utilizing the Indian shipyards for repair and maintenance of ships of the U.S. Maritime Sealift Command (MSC) to support mid-voyage repair of U.S. Naval ships,” according to the statement.
Military Sealift Command, an organization within the U.S. Navy, is responsible for the replenishment of U.S. Navy ships at sea and is the leading provider of ocean transportation for the U.S. Department of Defense, with approximately 125 ships operating around the globe.
The U.S. Navy in February participated with the Indian Navy and others in Exercise Milan 2022 in Bay of Bengal, marking the first time the U.S. participated in the Indian Navy-hosted multilateral excercise.
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