News:India and the US have signed the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement(BECA) for geo-spatial cooperation.
- What is BECA? It is a communication agreement between the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency of the US Department of Defence and the Ministry of Defence of the Government of India.
- Purpose: It allows India and the US to share military information including advanced satellite and topographic data such as maps, nautical and aeronautical charts and geodetic, geophysical, geomagnetic and gravity data.
- Significance: It will enable India to use US geospatial maps to enhance military accuracy of automated hardware systems and weapons such as cruise and ballistic missiles.
What were the previously signed foundational agreements between India and US?
- Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement(LEMOA): Signed in 2016.It allows both countries to have access to each other’s designated military facilities for refueling and replenishment.
- General Security Of Military Information Agreement(GSOMIA): Signed in 2002.It allows militaries to share the intelligence gathered by them.
- An extension to the GSOMIA, the Industrial Security Annex (ISA), was signed at the 2+2 dialogue in 2019.ISA provides a framework for exchange and protection of classified military information between the USA and Indian defence industries.
- COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement): Signed in 2018.It 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.