The USNS Salvor (T-ARS 52) Military Sealift Command’s rescue and salvage ship arrived at Larsen and Toubro shipyard, in Kattupalli near Chennai, Tamil Nadu, for voyage repairs. The US Embassy in India in a press statement said that the USNS Salvor is the third US Navy ship visiting the shipyard for repairs, after USNS Charles Drew and USNS Matthew Perry.
The shipyard, a major node in the Southern Defence Corridor, received the ship with a ceremony after the signing of the landmark five-year Master Ship Repair Agreement (MSRA) between the US Navy and the company.
US Consul General in Chennai, Judith Ravin, said, “This Master Ship Repair Agreement (MSRA) is yet another milestone in our ever-expanding US-India partnership. This historic agreement is a direct outcome of the 2022 US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue and demonstrates US commitment to utilizing repair facilities regularly at the L&T Shipyard in Kattupalli. This agreement will serve to strengthen our two nations’ strategic partnership and contribute to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
The MSRA is equivalent to undertaking warship refits, for which the shipyard has already been qualified by the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard, the company said in its statement.
On the occasion, A T Ramchandani, executive vice president & head of L&T Defence, said, “This agreement marks a global recognition of our unmatched capabilities and facilities to undertake quality ship repairs and refits. We are happy to be of service to the US Navy and the Military Sealift Command."
Dignitaries present at the ceremony included US Consul General in Chennai Judith Ravin; US Embassy New Delhi’s Office of Defence Cooperation chief Captain Michael L. Farmer; and senior US Embassy officials.