India signs landmark military pact with the US to make its drones and missiles more accurate
- India and the US have signed a new landmark defence pact called the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA).
- It allows the US to share satellite and other surveillance data to improve Indian navigation and targeting capabilities.
- This will improve the accuracy of India’s automated hardware systems and weapons like cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, and drones.
BECA is essentially an agreement between the US’ National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and India’s Ministry of Defence to share military information.
This includes maps, nautical charts, aeronautical charts, unclassified imagery, and other types of data. Within the agreement, there is a provision that allows for the sharing of classified information and the proper safeguards in place to ensure that the same information isn’t shared with any third parties.
AdvertisementAll of this intelligence will provide India’s military with advanced navigational aid and geospatial information. This will improve the accuracy of its automated hardware systems and weapons like cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, and drones.
It’s the fourth and final ‘foundational’ agreement between the US and India. They serve as the framework for cooperation and interoperability between the US and India’s defence ministries.
|Four foundational agreements between the US and India||Year||Goal|
|General Security Of Military Information Agreements (GSOMIA)||2002||Enable the sharing of classified data between government entities|
|Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA)||2016||Allows both parties to benefit from each other’s logistics infrastructure, resources and consumables|
|Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA)||2018||Enables secure communications between the forces and governs access to sensitive US communications equipment and encryption|
|Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA)||2020||Allows the US to share satellite and other surveillance data to improve Indian navigation and targeting capabilities|
The Observer Research Foundation (ORF) notes that even though the US reportedly shared intelligence with India during the Doklam issue, that cooperation was inherently limited by the lack of formal structures to enable rapid and secure dissemination of information.
BECA could be the next step in fine-tuning that process, especially concerning the tensions currently simmering between India and China in Eastern Ladakh.
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