October 26, 2020
India and the United States have furthered their strategic relationship by signing BECA post the signing of COMCASA and LEMOA.
Together, these agreements will enable and empower India into evolving into a serious military power in the Indian Ocean Region.
Under BECA the two nations will be sharing military technology, classified satellite data, and geospatial maps.
Aimed at fostering innovation in the country, US companies have been encouraged to invest in India.
India and the United States have finalised another landmark defence pact, the Basic Exchange & Cooperation Agreement (BECA) for Geo-spatial Cooperation. This pact would facilitate sharing of high-end military technology, geospatial maps, and classified satellite data between the militaries of both nations. BECA is one of the many agreements between India and the US. Similar deals signed between the two nations include the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) and the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA). These three pacts- COMCASA, LEMOA and BECA together enable India to evolve into a significant military power in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
BECA enables sharing of geospatial information, including nautical and aeronautical charts. The complete data, backed by highly accurate US satellites, helps in navigation as well as targeting military assets. Under BECA the two countries can exchange maps, nautical and aeronautical charts, commercial and other unclassified imagery, geodetic, geophysical, geomagnetic and gravity data. This 2+2 ministerial meeting was attended by the United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo & the Secretary of Defence Mark Esper, and Shri Rajnath Singh, Minister of Defence & External Affairs Minister, Shri S. Jaishankar.
The discussion at this meeting covered bilateral defence cooperation spanning military to military cooperation, secure communication systems and information sharing, defence trade and industrial issues and the different ways in which the two nations together can take this bilateral cooperation forward. Shri Rajnath Singh also stressed upon the initiatives under Aatmanirbhar Bharat to foster and encourage innovations and investments in the defence industry in India and extended an invitation to companies in the US to invest in India’s favourable defence industry ecosystem. A win-win deal for India, it will enable the country’s access to military grade data that can help draw up target coordinates. This agreement marks the enrichment of mutual trust and a commitment to the long-term strategic relationship. With these key defence pacts in place, cooperation between the US and India can take place in a more structured and efficient way.