At the 2+2 ministerial dialogue, India and the US signed the last of four foundational defence agreements, BECA (Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement), on Tuesday.
The agreement was mentioned in the meeting between Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and U.S. Secretary of Defence Mark Esper on Monday. In a press release, the Ministry of Defence said that the “two ministers expressed satisfaction that agreement of BECA will be signed during the visit.”
India and the US have been sharing real-time intelligence under the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA), which was signed in 2018, according to Hindustan Times. The General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) was signed in 2002 and the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016.
Here’s 5 things to know about BECA:
1. Singh said BECA would open new avenues in information sharing. At the press interaction after the dialogue on Tuesday, he said that signing of BECA, after LEMOA and COMCASA, is a “significant achievement” in the direction of closer India-US ties.
Signing of BECA today after signing of LEMOA in 2016 and COMCASA in 2018 is a significant achievement in that direction: RM Shri @rajnathsingh
— रक्षा मंत्री कार्यालय/ RMO India (@DefenceMinIndia) October 27, 2020
2. BECA is an agreement between the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency of the US department of defence and the defence ministry, according to Hindustan Times. It will allow India and the US to share military information, including maps, nautical and aeronautical charts and commercial and other unclassified imagery.
3. While most of the information will be in the unclassified category, The Economic Times reported that BECA also has a provision of sharing classified information.
4. BECA will allow India to use the US’s advanced geospatial intelligence and enhance the accuracy of automated systems and weapons, The Indian Express...