In a landmark deal, India and the United States on Tuesday inked a defence agreement that will allow sharing of high-end military technology, classified satellite data and critical information between the two countries. Both the nations signed a total of five agreements including BECA.
The signing of the long-negotiated Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) during the third edition of the 2+2 dialogue between the two strategic partners also signals further boosting of bilateral defence and military ties and it comes in the backdrop of India’s tense border standoff with China in eastern Ladakh.
About BECA, officials said the agreement will give India access to classified geospatial data as well as critical information having significant military applications from the US.
In the 2+2 dialogue, the two sides deliberated on a host of critical issues including ways to further expand the already close relationship between the militaries of the two countries as well as broader issues of mutual interest in the Indo-Pacific region. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajath Singh held the talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Mark T Esper. Both sides were assisted by their top military and security officials.
India-US military agreement: India and the US signed the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA). Ministry of Defence Additional Secretary Jiwesh Nandan signed the agreement on behalf of India. Defense Minister Rajnath Singh termed the signing of the BECA with the US as an ‘important achievement’ and said it would open up new avenues in information sharing. “We are eager to discuss further issues with the US,” he said.
What is BECA agreement: In the 2+2 talks, the important agreement was signed between the two countries, which can increase the difficulties of China and Pakistan. With this agreement, the information collected by American satellites will be shared with India. With this, India will have access to sensitive communication data of America. This will make the capability of Indian missiles accurate and extremely effective. The agreement will allow the two countries to share extended geospatial information between the armed forces.
Signed five agreements including BECA:
1. Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement
2. Agreement for Technical Cooperation on Earth Sciences
3. Arrangement extending the arrangement on nuclear cooperation
4. Agreement on postal services
5. Agreement on cooperation in Ayurveda and cancer research