Defence ministers of India and the US have signed a Basic Exchange and Agreement (BECA) for geo-spatial cooperation.

The agreement was signed during the US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue held in New Delhi, India, to discuss bilateral defence issues.

It follows the signing of COMCASA in 2018 and LEMOA in 2016 in a bid to deepen the defence ties between the two countries.

In a press statement, Indian Defence Minister Raj Nath Singh said: “I would also like to highlight some of the other noteworthy steps taken by both India and US in follow up to our earlier discussions.

“These include positioning a USN LO at IFC-IOR and Indian LO at NAVCENT, Bahrain; greater interaction and coordination with CENTCOM and AFRICOM; setting up of the COMSEC account and increasing the scope and complexities of our exercises.

“Now LO’s at each other’s establishments could be leveraged to enhance our information sharing architecture. To sum it up, our military to military cooperation is progressing well.”

This agreement comes days before the US presidential elections scheduled for 3 November.

The ministers also explored proposals such as building capacity and undertaking joint cooperation activities in third countries. They expect to take the proposals forward.

In addition, discussions were held on the Defence Industrial Cooperation front. ‘Priority near-term projects’ have also been identified for joint development.

During the meeting, a request on cooperation in advanced maritime domain awareness area was accepted.