For the first time, US Navy Ship (USNS) Charles Drew arrived at L&T's Shipyard at Kattupalli, Chennai on Sunday for repairs and allied services, opening up a new avenue of services Indian firms can offer to global ship companies.

USNS Charles Drew will be at Kattupalli shipyard for a period of 11 days and undergo repairs in various areas.

Part of  'Make in India' and 'Aatmanirbharta in Defence', the initiative is likely to begin a multi-dollar business deals to be undertaken by India's major six shipyards along its coast stretching from the Bay of Bengal to the Arabian Sea.

In a first, US Navy ship arrives in India to undergo repairs

The US Navy had awarded the first of its kind contract to L&T's Shipyard at Kattupalli for undertaking maintenance of the ship, indicating the new 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," said the US Navy in a statement. Besides, India's initiative also assumes special significance in furthering the strategic partnership between India and the US. It marks the beginning of a new chapter for deeper engagements.

In a first, US Navy ship arrives in India to undergo repairs

Currently, India has six major shipyards with turnover of nearly $2 billion. Apart from making ships, these establishments also have their own design house capable of making all kinds of state-of-the-art ships. In addition, 11 shipyards are also invovled in carrying out repair works for ships.

The global ship repairing market is expected to grow from $30.16 billion in 2020 to $39.04 billion in 2025 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.1%. The growth is attributed to the companies looking for rearranging their operations after recovering the COVID-19 impact, which had led to restrictive containment measures and operational challenges.

A beginning has been made with the US Navy ship arriving on Sunday for repairs and it also heralds stronger ties between India and the US. 

(With inputs from IANS)