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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defence Mark Esper during a press statement in Hyderabad House, New Delhi (PTI)
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defence Mark Esper during a press statement in Hyderabad House, New Delhi (PTI)

India, US sign 'Beca' deal to deepen military ties amid China tensions

The pact represents a deepening of military ties, a testament to the rapid warming of bilateral relations in a span of two decades

NEW DELHI: India and the US on Tuesday signed the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial Cooperation (Beca) that will allow India access to crucial information that will have implications in any potential military conflict, a person familiar with the matter said.

These include access to a range of topographical, nautical and aeronautical data considered key to map hostile movements and precise and real-time information on enemy positions accessed from US military satellites during any potential border conflict.

The signing of the pact happened after India and the US held their third 2+2 talks. The pact represents a deepening of military ties, a testament to the rapid warming of bilateral relations in a span of two decades.

“The new BECA agreement is going to be a landmark event in the US-India relationship and cooperation. Along with Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA), and Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), BECA will be one of the foundational military communication agreements between the two countries," said Agendra Kumar, president, Esri, a mapping and location analytics platform.

BECA will allow India to use US geospatial information to achieve very high military accuracy for weapon systems such as cruise and ballistic missiles, and advanced UAVs, he said.

"The way I see, the agreement goes beyond tactical objectives and includes exchange of Geospatial-Intelligence information for use by the government for defence and other purposes. The US would exchange technical and procedural information about methods, specifications and formats for the collection, processing, and production of Geo intelligence information with India," he said.

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