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In a small but remarkable move, India and the US have decided to look into possibilities of Indian shipyards not only maintaining but also repairing navy ships of America.

This will not only boost the India-US defence trade ties, but also bring additional business to the Indian shipyards. The decision in this regard was taken during the India-US 2 2 ministerial that was held earlier on Monday.

Tony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, along with Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin led the American delegation while the Indian delegation was led by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

A joint statement issued after the 2 2 read: "To further enhance defence industrial cooperation in the naval sector, both sides agreed to explore possibilities of utilizing the Indian shipyards for repair and maintenance of ships of the US Maritime Sealift Command (MSC) to support mid-voyage repair of US Naval ships."

Over the past one decade, there has been enhanced cooperation between Indian and American militaries, in particular among the militaries in the Indo-Pacific region.

Notably, Military Sealift Command ships are made up of a core fleet of ships owned by the United States Navy and others under long-term-charter augmented by short-term or voyage-chartered ships.

India and the US also have signed a bilateral space situational awareness arrangement, adding a new dimension to the growing defence relationship between the two countries, the US Defence Secretary has said.

The agreement was signed on Monday by officials of the two countries on the sidelines of the India-US 2 2 ministerial co-hosted by Austin along with Blinken.

With agency inputs

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