Reliance Defence and Engineering Ltd (RDEL) and the US Navy signed a Master Ship Repair Agreement (MSRA) for undertaking service, maintenance and repair of the Seventh Fleet of the US Navy that is operational in the Indian Ocean. Information on the agreement between Anil Ambani-led firm and the US Navy was announced on 13 February 2017.
The seventh fleet of the US Navy consists of front-line warships, patrol and supply vessels among others. Of these, about 100 vessels are operating in the Indian Ocean.
As per the agreement, the works will be performed at the Reliance Shipyard at Pipavav in Gujarat. At present, these vessels visit shipyards in Japan or Singapore for repair and maintenance work.
This is the first time, when an Indian company, may be a private or public, will be providing logistical support to the US military within Indian Territory.
The agreement between Reliance and US Navy was signed in the line of the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) that was signed between the two nations, namely India and the US in August 2016. The agreement was signed in Pentagon during Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s US visit.
This logistics agreement was signed with an aim to enable forces of the two nations to use each other’s bases for replenishments of supplies and repairs.
The agreement was signed after the Pipavav shipyard in January 2016 was able to qualify as an approved contractor for repair, service and maintenance of its Seventh Feet.
As per reports, the US Navy spends nearly Rs 3000 crore for maintenance and repair services for the seventh fleet.
Reliance Defence and Engineering Ltd and Pipavav Defence
Reliance Defence and Engineering Limited (RDEL) formerly known as Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering Company Limited (PDOECL) has the largest engineering infrastructure in India. It is one of the largest dry docks in the world. RDEL is the first private sector company in India to obtain the licence and contracts to build warships.
RDEL operates India’s largest integrated shipbuilding facility with 662 M x 65 M Dry dock. The facility houses the only modular shipbuilding facility.