India-US to Sign Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geospatial Cooperation

India-US to Sign Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geospatial Cooperation

In the third round of India-US two-plus dialogue both the countries agreed to sign the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for geospatial cooperation. The third round of ministerial dialogue is expected to take place on October 26-27.

Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) for geospatial cooperation is one of the four foundational military communication agreements between the two countries.

From the strategic point of view signing, BECA is crucial for India in order to neutralize the Russia-China-Pakistan axis for the larger interest of the country. Also, it is envisaged that the agreement is important for the stability of the Indo-Pacific region as the Russia-China-Pakistan axis poses a big threat to regional peace.

BECA will allow India to use US expertise on geospatial intelligence and to enhance military accuracy of automated hardware systems and weapons like cruise, ballistic missiles, and drones for pinpointed strikes on enemy targets.

BECA is an important precursor to India acquiring armed unmanned aerial vehicles such as the Predator-B from the USA. Predator-B uses spatial data for accurate strikes on enemy targets.

Predator-B Drone

The acquisition of aerial platforms like the USA naval helicopters and multi-role fighters is a key priority for India in the current scenario of increasing Indo-China conflict.

Initially, India had reservations about geospatial mapping on the grounds of national security, but they were later addressed by mutual dialogue and discussion between the two countries.

The other three agreements that India has already signed with the USA are GSOMIA, LEMOA, CISMOA.

General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) allows militaries to share the intelligence gathered by them. It was signed by India in 2002.

Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) allows both countries to have access to each other’s designated military facilities for refueling and replenishment. It was signed by India in 2016.

Communications and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) aims to provide a legal framework for the transfer of highly sensitive communication security equipment from the USA to India that will streamline and facilitate interoperability between their armed forces. It was signed by India in 2018 and valid for 10 years.

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