Hello Defence lovers! The year 2020 has been full of surprising events and is finally going to end! In this article, we are going to looks at the various defence deals and agreements that have been signed this year.
Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement
Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement or commonly known as the BECA is the most significant defence agreement of this year. After LEMOA and COMCAASA it the third defence agreement signed between India and The United States.
BECA was signed on 27th October during the 2+2 dialogue between our Defence Minister Rajnat Singh and Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and their American counterparts.
BECA will help India to get real-time access to American geospatial intelligence which will enhance the accuracy of automated systems and weapons like different missiles which rely on GPS for navigation and armed drones. Through the sharing of data on maps and satellite images, it will help India access topographical and aeronautical data, and advanced products that will aid in navigation and targeting.
Air India One Deal
The Indian government has signed a deal with the US to acquire two Boeing 777 worth $ 190 million during Donald Trump’s visit to India in February this year.
These Wide bodied Boeing-777s will be equipped with advance Self Protection Suites which would have fully-integrated advanced missile approach warning sensors, defensive electronic warfare systems, infra-red counter-measures, high power digital radio frequency jammers and other such contraptions under the overall self-protection suites. This will similar to American Air Force One. These aircraft will be used for VVIP transport and when carrying PM or President of India, these will you the call sign “Air India One”.
MH-60 Romeo Helicopters Deal
The $2.6 billion deal between India and the US to acquire 24 Sikorsky MH-60R helicopters was signed in February 2020, during President Trump’s visit to India.
The deal includes 24 helicopter, communication systems, submergible sonars weapons systems, eight anti-surface Hellfire Missiles which are used to hit at ships and other surface targets, MK 54 Lightweight Torpedoes, 50 cannons and precision rocket systems.
MH-60 Romeo helicopters are manufactured by Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky Aircraft and are being procured by India via government-to-government route. The delivery of these helicopters will start in early 2021. These would replace the aged Sea King Helicopters. These would boost anti-submarine operations by many folds.
AH 64 Apache Deal
During Donald Trump’s visit to India in February 2020, the deal for 6 Boeing AH 64 apache attack helicopters were signed between India and US. The deal is worth $930 million. Earlier in 2015 order for 22 Apaches were also placed for Indian Air Force which have been already delivered. These 6 helicopters will be used by the Army.
Sig Sauer 716 rifle deal
This year DAC has approved the purchase of another batch of 72400 sig 716 G2 rifles at the cost of ₹780 crores. The previous batch of rifles has already been inducted. Along with Ak 203 rifles these rifles would replace Indian Army’s INSAS service rifle.
IWI Negev LMG Deal
The Indian government has signed a ₹800 crore agreement with Israeli weapon industries (IWI) to supply 16,479 Negev 7.62×51 mm light machine guns for the Indian Armed Forces. These will replace the INSAS LMG which is the primary Squad automatic weapon of the Indian Army. The 5.56×41 mm varients are already being used by the special forces.
Swathi Radar Deal
In march 2020 government of India signed a $40 million deal with Armenia to supply 4 Swathi weapons locating radars. Swathi defeated its Russian and Polish competitors in trials held by Armenia. These radars have been developed by DRDO and manufactured by BEL. These are already in service with Indian Armed forces.
BAE Mark 45 Gun Deal
Government of India signed a deal of $1.0210 billion with the US to obtain 13 MK45 Naval guns and related equipment. These guns will be mounted on upcoming Project 15 Bravo Vishakapattanam class destroyers and P17 Alpha Nilgiri class frigates. Currently, the 76 mm Oto Melara gun is being used by the destroyers and frigates of Indian navy. These guns would significantly increase the firepower of the upcoming ships and would bring commonality with the American and other NATO vessels.
Tejas LCA deal
The deal for 83 LCA Tejas was approved in march by DAC. But CCS approval for the deal is remaining. It was expected that the deal would be finalised by the end of 2020 but haven’t been finalised yet. Now it is expected that it would be finalised in Aero India 2021
So these were the major defence deals of 2020. There are various other small defence deals that we have not covered in this article. Please follow our youtube channel and website to stay updated with them.