Delhi, 02 Aug, 2019: India and the United States are likely to finalise two critical agreements, the Industrial Security Annexure (ISA) and the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) – the second is a so-called foundational military agreement — in the coming bilateral Defence Planning Group (DPG) dialogue in Washington this week.
The Defence secretary, Sanjay Mitra, is leading India’s delegation, a senior official aware of the details said. He will meet the US undersecretary of defence for policy, John Rood. The DPG has been revived after a gap of four years. The decision to revive it was taken at the last 2+2 dialogue between the two countries last year in which their defence and foreign ministers participated.
The BECA will allow India to use US geospatial maps to achieve pinpoint military accuracy of automated hardware systems and weapons such as cruise and ballistic missiles, even drones. India is considering buying 30 High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) drones from the US. The BECA is an important enabler of unmanned aerial vehicles from the US, such as the Predator-B, that use spatial data for accurate strikes on enemy targets.
The other agreement, ISA, is an annexure to the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) and will enable the US government and US defence companies to share classified information with Indian private defence manufacturers. The two signed the GSOMIA 17 years ago. It allowed the sharing of classified information from the US government and American defence manufacturers with the Indian government and government-owned defence firms. Once the ISA is signed, the US will be able to share technology with Indian private companies.