'Precision strike': India to get access to US satellite network; two countries to ink BECA military deal
The Indian military is set to get access to the giant satellite network of the United States allowing it to target enemy positions with more precision.
The Indian military is set to get access to the giant satellite network of the United States allowing it to target enemy positions with more precision. India and US militaries have decided to ink a deal to share real-time geospatial intelligence, information on maps and satellite images for defence.
India will sign a contract with the US for Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial Cooperation (BECA) during 2+2 ministerial dialogue on Tuesday.
The agreement pertains to exchange of Geospatial Intelligence information for use by the governments for defence and other purposes.
Under the agreement, the US would exchange technical and procedural information about standardisation of methods, specifications and formats for the collection, processing and production of Geo intelligence information with India.
It shall also include the tools and models to process GPS data and transform Latitude, Longitude and Height coordinates across various reference frames and others. It will also allow India to use global geospatial maps of the US for accuracy of stand-off weapons like cruise and ballistic missiles.
The decision was taken during the India-US talks on military issues in New Delhi on Monday.
Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his US counterpart Mark T. Esper held talks on various defence and security issues ahead of 2+2 dialogue between both the countries.
After the bilateral meeting at the South Block, Rajnath Singh said that the talks "were fruitful, aimed at further deepening defence cooperation in a wide range of areas".
India's Defence Ministry also issued a statement about the meeting.
Talking about the deal, the ministry stated, "The two ministers expressed satisfaction that agreement of BECA will be signed during the visit."
The ministry also stated that US Secretary of Defence welcomed Australia's participation in the exercise Malabar 2020.
Earlier this month, India, in a message to China on getting a wider footprint in the Indo-Pacific region, had invited Australia to take part in an annual naval drill -- the Malabar Exercise -- in the Indian Ocean Region along with the US and Japan in November. Australia has agreed to participate in the maritime exercise.
The ministry also stated that the two ministers reviewed bilateral defence cooperation spanning military to military cooperation, secure communication systems and information sharing, defence trade and industrial issues and also discussed ways to take bilateral cooperation forward.
"They discussed potential new areas of cooperation, both at Service to Service level and at the joint level," said the ministry adding that the ministers also discussed requirements of "expanding deployments of liaison officers".
Singh also elaborated upon the initiatives under the Atmanirbhar Bharat (Self Reliant) to encourage investments in the defence industry in India and invited US companies to avail of the liberalised policies in India.
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