India and the US will be concluding two defense agreements – the Industrial Secuity Annexure (ISA) and the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA). The bilateral Defense Planning Group dialogue was revived by Indian Defense Secretary Sanjay Mitra, who is in Washington to finalize this deal, after a lapse of four years. The two countries came up with the agreements in the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue.
With the finalization of the ISA, the U.S. government and original equipment manufacturers will share classified technological information and data with private companies in India. On March 27, this year, the U.S had submitted a draft ISA pact to the Indian Ministry of Defense.
Reports state that India and U.S. have already signed two agreements, the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) and the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) in 2016 and 2018. According to U.S. military platforms, India has purchased nearly $18 billion worth of weapons from the U.S., including C-17 and C-130J transport aircraft, state-of-the-art P-8i maritime reconnaissance aircraft, Harpoon missiles, Apache and Chinook helicopters and M777 howitzers. Under the BECA, India will be able to use U.S. produced geospatial maps, in the process sharpening the accuracy of sophisticated weapons.
With the new defense equipment, India will definitely be able to counter China and Pakistan’s military rise. Moreover, the aerial clash with Pakistan’s Air Force in February, following the Balakot strike, was a rare test for the Indian Air Force. And this sent alarm bells ringing of the alarming shape of India’s armed forces. Gaurav Gogoi, a lawmaker and member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defense, had said India’s troops lack modern equipment.
Now, India is definitely trying to boost its military with the latest and state-of-the-art warfare weaponry.