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The US Navy has secured a vital foothold in the Indo-Pacific with a new agreement allowing its ships to dock and undergo repairs at Cochin Shipyard in India. This deal, signed on April 5, 2024, builds upon the broader naval cooperation framework established between India and the US during last year’s G20 summit.

The Master Shipyard Repair Agreement (MSRA) between Cochin Shipyard and the US Navy strengthens India’s role in supporting America’s forward naval presence in Asia. This agreement joins similar pacts signed in 2023 with Larsen & Toubro (L&T) at Kattupalli Port near Chennai and Mazgaon Docks in Mumbai. These strategically located shipyards, known for constructing India’s most advanced warships, will now serve as crucial maintenance hubs for US Navy assets in the Indo-Pacific.

A key driver behind this partnership is the limited availability of suitable repair facilities within the region. Existing options in East and Southeast Asia fall within potential range of Chinese forces, raising security concerns for the US Navy. By leveraging Indian shipyards, the US gains access to reliable and strategically placed maintenance hubs, bolstering its naval posture in the Indo-Pacific.