NDA government in India has taken a large steps towards finalising COMCASA (Communications, Compatibility and Security Arrangement) and the BECA (Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial Cooperation) between US and India.
This will allow India to have more access to advanced military technologies and platforms with encrypted communications like Predator-B and MQ-9 Reaper drones.
The broad contours of COMCASA have been finalized but some text-based negotiations are left. The BECA draft is also under discussion
India inked two bilateral military pacts, procure helicopters worth $3 billion and participate in a joint tri-Service amphibious exercise for the first time.
This comes ahead of the first India-US “two-plus-two” dialogue between foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman with their American counterparts, Mike Pompeo and Jim Mattis, in Washington on July 6.
The two countries have also decided to hold their first-ever mega tri-Service amphibious exercise to supplement the flurry of wargames.
The US is keen to make further inroads into the lucrative Indian arms market, having already bagged deals worth $15 billion over the last decade, which was earlier barred by UPA government.
NDA government went ahead and inked the first one on reciprocal logistics support, Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), with India-specific safeguards in 2016.
This will be only the second time India will deploy assets and manpower from its Army, Navy and IAF together for an exercise with a foreign country, after Russia.
India and Russia are working to get around CAATSA(Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanction Act) because they have new defence projects worth over $12 billion hanging in the balance as well as the operational need to maintain the huge inventory of Russian-origin equipment held by the Indian armed forces.
So India is in doubt about CAATSA because according to this regime US targets countries buying weapon systems from Russia.