The Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) is one of the most significant deals made between the governments of the United States and India for geospatial cooperation.
The formal signing of the BECA was one of the most significant outcomes of the Indo-US 2+2 talks held in 2020. It focuses on providing India with American geospatial intelligence, which pertains to sharing information about satellite images and maps for defence applications.
The Secretary of State and Secretary of Defence from the US were in India on 26 and 27 October 2020 and held dialogues with External Affairs Minister and Defence Minister. The two countries have already signed three key agreements pertaining to military protection and security information, communications, and logistics exchange.
The BECA agreement was finally signed on 27th October during the talks after a decade of negotiations.
The BECA Agreement
The BECA is a communication deal between the Ministry of Defence of the Indian government and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency of the US Defence Department.
Under this pact, Indian military systems can access high-quality GPS and real-time intelligence for missiles for more effective targeting and navigation. This agreement allows the two countries to share information related to military and defence including advanced maps and satellite data.
Through accurate satellite images and maps, the Indian military will get a chance to improve the accuracy of automated systems and weapons like missiles and drones.
Moreover, the BECA agreement is a key step for India towards acquiring armed drones from America. The signing of this agreement will also ramp up the integration of the Indo-Pacific strategies in the two nations.
BECA also assures sharing of classified information without any fear of compromising its security. Besides defence applications, geospatial intelligence also benefits India’s ability to respond to natural disasters.
The BECA agreement will also strengthen the QUAD, the security dialogue between participating countries namely, Japan, Australia, the US, and India. The pact would also help India keep a close watch on China’s activities at the Indian Ocean and combat future attacks on borders.
BECA completes the series of fundamental pacts and lays the foundation for trust between the nations. Signing this pact will enable India and US to make combined efforts to become more capable of taking the nations and the world towards peace and stability.
These agreements are, however, not ends but roads to more powerful security and better prosperity for the citizens.
The BECA agreement is monumental with regards to defence cooperation between India and the US. It lays a strong foundation for trust between the nations, which can eventually lead to further collaborations in this space over the coming years.
FAQs About BECA Agreement
One of the fundamental agreements signed by India with countries it has military cooperation with, LEMOA or Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement aims to build the work ground and promote cooperation with a set of standards and systems.
- When was the LEMOA signed with the US?
The government of India had signed LEMOA with the US in 2016 during the Indian Defence Minister’s visit to the United States.
- Which countries have signed COMCASA?
The Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) was made between the United States and India in September 2018 during the first-ever ‘2+2’ talks held in New Delhi.