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US submarine Frank Cable docks in Vizag

DECCAN CHRONICLE | V. Kamalakara Rao

Published on: August 3, 2022 | Updated on: August 4, 2022

Commanding Officer of USS Frank, Capt John T Frye calls on the Chief of Staff, Eastern Naval Command, Vice Admiral,  Sanjay Vatsayan upon the arrival of USS Frank Cable (AS-40), an Emory S. Land-class submarine support ship of United States Navy in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday. (Photo: DC)

Visakhapatnam: After covering Japan, Indonesia and Malaysia, the US Navy's USS Frank Cable (AS-40) Emory S-Land submarine tender ship docked in Visakhapatnam and would leave here on August 4.

The ship's visit has gained importance vis-à-vis India-US relations, the exchange of defence technology ideas and the bilateral ties for the future in the defence sector.

In October, 2019, a similar submarine tender USS Emory S Land visited Vizag. The ship's public affairs officer B Trejo said Frank Cable visited Vizag for the first time.

Speaking to Deccan Chronicle on board, Trejo said submarine tender ships like the 9,000-tonne, 649-foot vessel USS Frank Cable are primarily naval vessels that specialise in replenishing submarines and surface ships in the mid-sea.

It primarily operates to provide consumables, electricity, water, spare parts, medical, mail and legal and repair services to submarines and their crews at sea.

Frank Cable has a history of successfully participating in rescue operations during the 1997 crash of Korean Airline Flight 801 in Guam, as well as recovery and cleanup efforts following super typhoon Paka, which hit the US island of Guam in 1997.

A team from the Eastern Naval Command (ENC) also visited the ship during its stay here.

"Frank Cable Ship Captain John T Frye called on ENC chief of staff Vice Admiral Sanjay Vatsayan and flag officer submarines Rear Admiral AY Sardesai to discuss matters of common interest. A number of professional interactions and informal engagements took place between the Indian Navy and the US Navy personnel," said an ENS spokesperson.

According to Indian Navy sources, India currently does not have a submarine tender ship like Frank Cable. India had one such, INS Amba, which was decommissioned in 2006. India is planning to have such ships in the future. Cable visit plays a vital role in that.

About six conventional submarines are in the pipeline under Project 75 (India) and two Arihant-class nuclear submarines S3 and S4 are nearing completion.