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India will repair a US Navy dry cargo ship for the first time.

| 2022

According to information published by the Indian government on August 9, 2022, US Navy Ship (USNS) Charles Drew arrived at L&T’s Shipyard at Kattupalli, Chennai for undertaking repairs and allied services.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Ceremony between the Indian MoD and the US DoS (Picture source: US DoS)

This is the first ever repair of a US Navy ship in India. The US Navy had awarded a contract to L&T’s Shipyard at Kattupalli for undertaking maintenance of the ship.

The event signifies the capabilities of Indian shipyards in the global ship repairing market. Indian shipyards offer wide-ranging and cost-effective ship repair and maintenance services, using advanced maritime technology platforms.

Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar, Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral SN Ghormade, Flag Officer Commanding Tamil Nadu & Puducherry Naval Area Rear Admiral S Venkat Raman and other senior officials of the Ministry of Defence visited the shipyard to welcome the vessel. Consul General in Chennai Ms Judith Ravin and Defence Attaché at the US Embassy at New Delhi Rear Admiral Michael Baker were also present.

The Defence Secretary also asserted that the ties between India & US have been expanding in scale & scope and are based on common values&beliefs of an open, inclusive and rule-based order in Indo-Pacific and rest of the global common systems.

He added that there has been a tremendous amount of traction in the defence industry cooperation over the last couple of years between the two countries. The USNS Charles Drew will be at Kattupalli shipyard for a period of 11 days and undergo repairs in various areas.

About the USNS Charles Drew

USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE-10) is a Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship of the United States Navy, named in honor of Dr. Charles R. Drew (1904–1950).

Charles Drew was delivered to Military Sealift Command on 14 July 2010 and began conducting missions for MSC in spring 2011 and will operate in the Pacific.

The Lewis and Clark class of dry cargo ship is a class of 14 underway replenishment vessels operated by the United States Navy's Military Sealift Command. The ships in the class are named after famous American explorers and pioneers.

The class have a length of 689 ft 0 in (210 m), a beam of 106 ft 0 in (32.3 m) and a draft of 29.9 ft (9.12 m). They have a displacement of 45,149 tons and can reach a top speed of 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph).

In their primary mission role, the T-AKEs provide logistic lift to deliver cargo (ammunition, food, limited quantities of fuel, repair parts and ship store items) to U.S. and allied ships at sea.

In their secondary mission, the T-AKEs may be required to operate in concert with a Henry J. Kaiser-class (T-AO 187) fleet replenishment oiler as a substitute station ship to provide direct logistics support to the ships within a carrier strike group.

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