India, US To Sign BECA Deal This Month-End
Engaged in a military standoff with China, India is likely to sign the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) for geospatial cooperation with the United States of America later this month.
The agreement will be signed during the 2+2 dialogue, between the defence and foreign ministers of the two countries, to be held on October 26-27 of October in New Delhi.
This is the third foundational agreement to be signed between India and the US after the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement and the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement in 2016 and 2018 respectively.
“We are hoping to sign the BECA during the meeting between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Mark Esper and their Indian counterparts including External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. The agreement will ensure that the armed forces of the two countries start talking to each other on enhancing geospatial cooperation,” top government sources told India Today here.
With BECA, the two countries will be able to share geospatial information and intelligence helpful for defence-related issues. This, for example, may help Indian missiles to be more accurate.
India and the US have been working very closely in the field of defence and security. India has acquired equipment worth around USD 20 billion from the US in the last 15 years including the C-17 Globemasters and the C-130J Super Hercules Special Operations transport aircraft which have become the mainstays of the Indian Air Force’s heavy-lift fleet.
In the field of choppers also, the American Chinook heavy-lift and Apache attack helicopters have come as force multipliers for the armed forces. The Indian Army is also using the Ultra Light Howitzers from the US while the Navy has also recently opted for the American MH-60 Romeo anti-submarine warfare multirole choppers for its requirements.