Third Indian Shipyard Wins U.S. Navy Approval for Ship Repairs

Cochin Shipyard at peak activity (file image courtesy CSL)
Cochin Shipyard at peak activity (file image courtesy Cochin Shipyard)

Published Apr 9, 2024 5:18 PM by The Maritime Executive


Against a backdrop of deepening U.S.-India defense relations, a third Indian shipyard has struck a deal with the U.S. Navy for repair of its vessels. On April 6, the state-run Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) announced that it had signed a Master Shipyard Repair Agreement (MSRA) with the U.S. Navy, which qualifies the yard to repair vessels under the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command.

“The MSRA is a non-financial agreement and is effective from April 5, 2024. CSL has been qualified for entering into the MSRA after a detailed evaluation process and capability assessment by the U.S Navy,” the shipyard said in a regulatory filing.  

Last year, two other Indian shipyards - L&T Kattupalli and Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders - signed a similar vessel repair agreement with the U.S. Navy. These agreements signal U.S. commitment to follow up on its pledge of using Indian repair facilities, reducing the maintenance turnaround time and costs for U.S. naval assets deployed in the Indo-Pacific region. The use of Indian yards also relieves pressure on the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base, which cannot keep up with the Navy’s needs.

Last year during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington, the Indian government invited the U.S. to evaluate more yards for repair deals. In a joint statement after talks between President Joe Biden and Modi, the two leaders acknowledged India’s emergence as a hub for maintenance and repair.

“Partnerships with Indian shipyards will allow the U.S. Navy to expedite repairs for forward-deployed naval assets. As envisaged in the Defense Industrial Roadmap, both countries agree to work together for the creation of logistic, repair and maintenance infrastructure for aircrafts and vessels in India,” added the statement.  

Besides the U.S, the UK has bolstered its defense ties with India with two Royal Fleet auxiliary ships arriving last month at the L&T Kattupalli shipyard for maintenance. This is the first time the Royal Navy vessels sought maintenance in India, indicating progress in the UK-India 2030 Roadmap, which reflects the two nations’ commitment to a secure Indian Ocean.