US Military Aircraft refuels in India for the first time

Published: October 3, 2020

For the first time in Indian history, the United States long range maritime patrol aircraft refuelled at India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The P-8 Poseidon aircraft landed in Port Blair for refuelling support.

Highlights

The LEMOA (Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement) allows both the countries to access their bases. For instance, India now has access to US bases in Guam in the Pacific and Djibouti in Africa. The countries have been providing refuelling support to their naval vessels since the signing of the agreement. The agreement was signed in 2016. The LEMOA is one of the four foundational agreements that the US enters with its defence partners.

Foundational Agreements

The four foundational agreements signed by the US with its defence partners are as follows

  • GSOMIA-General Security of Military Information Agreement
  • LEMOA-Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement
  • COMCASA-Communications and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement
  • Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA)

COMCASA

  • COMCASA provides a legal framework for the transfer of communication security equipment from US to India.
  • It is an India specific agreement valid for 10 years.
  • The agreement facilitates interoperability between Indian and US forces
  • The agreement gives access to real-time information from US Navy

GSOMIA

  • Under GSOMIA, the countries can exchange classified military information
  • It enbales greater industry-to-industry collaboration in defence sector
  • It was signed in 2002

BECA

India is yet to sign BECA. Both the countries are looking forward to sign the agreement in the next 2+2 talks that is to be held in October 2020.

The agreement will allow India to use geospatial maps of USA. These maps help to pinpoint automated hardware systems, ballistic missiles and weapons. The agreement is essential for India as a precursor to acquisition of Predator-B UAV (Unmanned Vehicle) from USA.

Industrial Security Annexure

The ISA agreement is an extension to the GSOMIA and was signed during the 2+2 dialogue that was held in 2019.

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