India-US Defence Deals On the Cards

In News

India and the US are preparing for the third 2+2 ministerial meeting.

In-Detail

  • 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.

BECA

  • 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.

LEMOA

  • 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.

COMCASA

  • 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.

Conclusion

  • 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.

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