India, US likely to sign pact on geospatial cooperation

Officials on Monday said BECA, which will enable the US to share advanced satellite and topographical data for long-range navigation and missile-targeting with India, is "very likely" to be inked during the"two-plus-two" dialogue here.

India, US likely to sign pact on geospatial cooperation
India, US likely to sign pact on geospatial cooperation

India, US likely to sign pact on geospatial cooperation

India is now getting set to ink the fourth and final 'foundational military pact' called the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for geospatial cooperation (BECA) with the US to further tighten the strategic clinch between the two countries, according to a TOI report.

Officials on Monday said BECA, which will enable the US to share advanced satellite and topographical data for long-range navigation and missile-targeting with India, is "very likely" to be inked during the"two-plus-two" dialogue here. Defense minister Rajnath Singh and external affairs minister S Jaishankar will hold the dialogue with their US counterparts Mark Esper and Mike Pompeo on October 26-27.

India inked the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) with the US in 2002, which was followed by the logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016, and then the Communications, Compatibility and Security Arrangement (COMCASA) in 2018.

Despite constant prodding from the US, the previous UPA regime had not agreed to ink LEMOA, COMCASA and BECA during its 10-year tenure on the ground that it would compromise India's "strategic autonomy". But the NDA government has pushed ahead with them, stressing that there are "enough India-specific safeguards" built into these pacts.

LEMOA provides for reciprocal logistics support like refueling and berthing facilities for each other's warships and aircraft, while the COMCASA has paved the way for India to get greater access to advanced military technologies with encrypted and secure communications and data links like armed Predator-B or Sea Guardian drones