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India, US Ministerial Meeting

India, US Ministerial Meeting

Context:

India and the US are preparing for the third 2+2 ministerial meeting between External Affairs Minister and Defence Minister, and US Secretary of State.

  • The meeting will mainly focus on the various agreements signed between the two countries. 

Agreements signed between the two nations:

The Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA):

  • BECA largely pertain to geospatial intelligence and sharing information on maps and satellite images for defense.
  • The signing of BECA will allow India to use the US’s advanced geospatial intelligence and enhance the accuracy of automated systems and weapons like missiles and armed drones.
  • The agreement will give access to topographical and aeronautical data and products that will aid navigation and targeting.
  • It will also provide Indian military systems with a high-quality GPS to navigate missiles with real-time intelligence to precisely target the adversary.

The Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement  (LEMO):

  • LEMO was signed between India and the US in August 2016.
  • It allows the military of each country to replenish from the other’s bases i.e. access supplies, spare parts, and services from the other country’s land facilities, air bases, and ports, which can then be reimbursed.
  • It is extremely useful for Navy-to-Navy cooperation since the US and India are cooperating closely in the Indo-Pacific.
  • In military terms, one’s Naval ships are strategic assets and the use of another country’s base would expose one’s military asset to the host.

The Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA):

  • The agreement was signed in September 2018, after the first 2+2 dialogue.
  • It allows the US to provide India with its encrypted communications equipment and systems so that Indian and US military commanders, aircraft, and ships can communicate through secure networks in peace and war.
  • COMCASA paved the way for the transfer of communication security equipment from the US to India to facilitate “interoperability” between their forces and potentially with other militaries that use US-origin systems for secure data links.

Source: The Hindu