USNS Matthew Perry, a Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship of the United States Navy, has successfully completed maintenance and repair work at Larsen & Toubro Ltd’s facility in Kattupalli near Chennai, commonly known as L&T shipyard, from March 11 to 27, 2023. USNS Matthew Perry is the second ship of the U.S. Navy to complete maintenance works in India, after USNS Charles Drew completed voyage repair at L&T shipyard in August 2022. The larger scope of work on Matthew Perry reflects the United States Navy’s intention to work towards routinely accomplishing a broader scope of vessel repairs in Indian shipyards.

USNS Matthew Perry’s visit demonstrates the commitment of the U.S. Navy and Department of Defense to utilize repair facilities in India, after U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed intent at the U.S.-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in Washington, D.C. in April 2022.

United States Consul General in Chennai Judith Ravin said, “The United States is a proud Indo-Pacific nation, and our vital interests are inextricably tied to the region. India is an important partner of the United States in the Indo Pacific. I am confident the USNS Matthew Perry’s maintenance and repair works in India will further strengthen our bond. Our shipping industries positively contribute to a free and open Indo-Pacific by partnering to deliver effective, efficient, and economical repair of military vessels.”

With a length and width of 210 and 32.3 meters, respectively, and registered tonnage of 35,300T, the USNS Matthew Perry was named after Navy Commodore Matthew C. Perry (1794-1858), who led a squadron of ships to Japan in 1853 with the aim of opening that nation to trade. He served during the War of 1812 and the Mexican American War and was sent to suppress piracy and the slave trade in the West Indies.