The Defence Policy Group will take up discussion on the key agreement, Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA), one of the three foundational military pacts. Indian delegation is led by Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra

In what could lay a new path for India and US military relations, an agreement that will pave the way for a deeper alliance is to be discussed in the US early on Friday (Indian time).

The Defence Policy Group (DPG) has been revived after a gap of four years and will take up discussion on the critical agreement Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA), one of the three foundational military agreements. India is already signatory to the other two. Indian delegation is led by Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra.

The BECA enables use of US-produced Geo-Spatial maps which will sharpen the accuracy of missiles. The data from the Geo_Spatial library is fed into the missile seeker allowing it to travel on its own with a great accuracy towards its target on ground. New Delhi is looking to get specialised ‘predator’ UAV’s made by US company General Atomics. New Delhi is studying if it can get National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System for its mid-range air defence requirement. It can destroy unmanned aerial vehicle and emerging cruise missile threats. 

India had some concerns over sharing Geo-Spatial data that the US has agreed to address. India, in the past few years, has separately inked with the US two other military agreements called the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA), and Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA). The LEMOA allows India to use US facilities for re-fuelling —much needed as warships keep travelling eastwards. The US has a string of bases starting from Indonesia — located east of India and extending north-eastwards to Japan and also south-eastwards till Australia. 

The COMCASA facilitates - US and Indian military platforms to ‘talk’ to each other, meaning they have common secure communication system allowing seamless transfer of data . Also the DPG is expected to take up the matter of how US firms will share information with private Indian companies. Called the Industrial Security Annexure, this will secure the information shared with a binding law. India’s ‘make in India’ projects hinge upon foreign technology coming in. In the DPG, will also the two sides are likely to decide on the making “joint exercises” with greater scope and complexity.