The agreement will give India access to extremely accurate geo-spatial data, which will have major implications for a range of military aspects, such as giving Indian missiles a killer edge.
Here are some key things about the agreement that what it will bring about.
What is it all about?
India and the US have already signed three key foundational agreements — General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) in 2002, the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016 and Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) in 2018.
Supplemented by highly accurate US satellites, this geospatial information can help in navigation and, more importantly, in targeting military assets.
The information shared
The information shared could be either digital or printed.
According to an ET story, the information that is shared include maps, nautical and aeronautical charts, commercial and other unclassified imagery, geodetic, geophysical, geomagnetic and gravity data.
A majority of this data is usually unclassified and aimed at facilitating standardisation. There, however, are provisions for sharing classified data also. While sharing classified info, safeguards are put in place to make sure that no third party gets access.
What took it this long?
The pact was under discussion for more than a decade. The UPA government had initially blocked it owing to fears raised by security forces on "protection of classified information and access to classified laboratories in India".
Most of these fears have been addressed over many rounds of talks. Also, increasing trust between India and the US played a major part.
The agreement on sharing military logistics, which spawned the most political concerns, had been reached a while ago.
How it changes things for India
Although both sides will share sensitive information under BECA, the agreement is likely to benefit India more. It will give India access to military-grade data "that can help draw up target coordinates".
In essence, these military-grade coordinates can help direct missiles of air-launched bombs to a terror location in the neighbourhood with high accuracy.
It will primarily help in long-range navigation and missile-targeting with increased accuracy. Given the current geopolitical situation, this data will be relevant on both the northern and western borders of India, said Captain Vikram Mahajan (retired), director, Aerospace and Defence at USISPF.
2+2 Ministerial Dialogue: All you need to know
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held the third edition of the 2+2 talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Mark T Esper.
Both sides were assisted by top military and security officials.
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17 Comments on this Story
Shri 29 days ago
Lets increase Indian Armed forces to 10 million. 10000 pm salary. Lets liberate Tibet & Others.
Shri 29 days ago
Lets do visa free access for all Desis to USA. Come buy up & do Biz. Do sex with White Ladies. Sweet
Bilu 29 days ago
Itâ s Ok. But India should know China already have Indian Maps in its closer. Narendra Damodar Modi infact has given full access in Gujarat that no other country had and does he think these Chinkis were all business men? Ah, no wars are won but only destroys. The fact is our economy simply cannot support a lead on chinkis who prepared themselves rigorously to fight a war with USA to take them. Today US can never win a war with China so itâ s soon gong to be China Russia verses rest of world.