India and the US are preparing for the third 2+2 ministerial meeting.
- On October 26-27, 2020 at New Delhi the External Affairs Minister and Defence Minister of India and US Secretary of State and Defence Secretary are preparing for thethird 2+2 ministerial meeting.
- The key agenda will be on the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA).
- The BECA lays the foundation for deeper military cooperation.
- In the previous two meetings, COMCASA and LEMOA were signed.
- All three agreements include the sharing of telephone intercepts, high-end satellite images and data sharing of Chinese troops and weapons deployment along the Line of Actual Control which is 3488km.
- The Indian armed forces used five American platforms at the LAC-C-17 Globemaster III from military transport, Boeing’s Apache as tank killers, Boeing’s Chinkoo CH-47 as heavy-lift helicopters, for overland reconnaissance P-81 Poseidon and Lockheed Martin’s C-130J for airlifting troops.
- India made this move because of Chinese belligerence being clear and the threat from them is evident.
- The Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) refers to the geospatial intelligence and sharing satellite images and information on maps for defence.
- Geospatial intelligence can identify anyone who sails on the ship, flies an aircraft, fights wars, locates targets, responds to natural disasters, etc.
- This agreement will allow India to use advanced US geospatial intelligence.
- It also enhances the accuracy of automated weapons and systems like missiles and armed drones.
- BECA gives access to topographical and aeronautical data and products.
- This agreement will aid in navigation and targeting.
- The geospatial intelligence could add the key to the Air Force to Air Force cooperation.
- In August 2016, India and the US signed the Logistics Exchange of Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA).
- This agreement facilitates the military of each country to replenish from other bases.
- Each country can access supplies, spare parts and services from other country’s land facilities, airbases and ports.
- As India and the US are cooperating closely in the Indo-Pacific, this is useful for Navy-to-Navy cooperation.
- Signing the LEMOA needed trust and its application enhances the trust.
- After the first 2+2 ministerial meeting, the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA)was signed in 2018.
- This agreement provides India with the US encrypted communications equipment and systems.
- This allows India and the US military commanders, aircrafts and ships to communicate through secure networks in peace and in war.
- India’s willingness to sign all these agreements signal the level of trust between India and the US and their militaries faced with an aggressive China.