In a sign of increasing defence cooperation between India and the United States, the US Navy has signed the Master Ship Repair Agreement (MSRA) with Reliance Defence and Engineering Limited (RDEL). This makes the Reliance Shipyard at Pipavav in Gujarat the first Shipyard in India which can undertake servicing and repairing works for the vessels of US Pacific Command’s Seventh Fleet.
Currently, the vessels of US Navy’s Seventh Fleet visit Singapore or Japan for such works. Largest forward-deployed fleet in the region, the Seventh Fleet’s area of responsibility includes the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean. The fleet has about 100 vessels of different types, including front-line war ships, supply vessels, patrol vessels and auxiliaries which can now be serviced in India.
After a decade of negotiations, India and the US had signed a military logistics pact, called the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), on August 30 2016 during Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s visit to the Pentagon.
After the signing of LEMOA, the US Navy conducted survey of various shipyards in India to undertake repair and maintenance works.