The Indian Navy took possession of US Trenton and rename it INS 'Jalashva' in the hope that it will greatly enhance rescue operation and troop transportation capabilities. Navy officials cited the case of tsunami disaster rescue operations when, despite dispatching a fourth of its fleet loaded with relief supplies within hours of the disaster, it could not deliver them effectively because all piers and jetties were destroyed. An amphibious ship could have helped the Navy deliver supplies and personnel to affected areas since bad Indian roads acted as another impediment to assistance.
Since then, the Indian Navy has assiduously sought to enhance that capability and zeroed down on the 17,000 ton USS Trenton, which will be the first American ship and the second largest in the fleet (after the aircraft carrier INS Viraat). The ship is being repaired and refurbished in Norfolk till May and expected to join the Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatanam. Over 300 Indian sailors and 27 officers are in Norfolk taking charge of the ship and learning the intricacies of its operation from their American counterparts.
Bought for USD 48.4 million, the INS Jalashya (Seahorse in Sanskrit), the ship is capable of carry 6 H-3 Sea King Transport helicopters and an collection of smaller boats and also enhances India’s blue water capability. Many expect that this inclusion of an American ship into its system may encourage its appetite for more US ships such as some of its older aircraft carriers. However, the US aircraft carriers are huge ships costing several billion dollars, displacing over 100,000 tons, and nuclear powered making them way above Indian requirements for the foreseeable future.
The procurement of the ship signifies vastly improved bilateral relations greatly bolstered by strong economic ties and increasing defense interaction