India, US sign landmark defence pact BECA

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News:India and the US have signed the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement(BECA) for geo-spatial cooperation.

Facts:

  • 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.

Additional Facts:

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.