India, US discuss contours of sharing military technology

Talks focus on military-to-military engagement, information-sharing and logistics support among others issues

Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 20

India and the US on Saturday discussed contours for sharing high-end technology and to ‘operationalise’ the three existing foundational agreements that cover everything from geo-spatial mapping to logistics sharing between the two countries.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had a meeting with his counterpart General Lloyd Austin in New Delhi on Saturday.

Rajnath Singh, in a joint statement after the meeting, said, “We discussed our wide ranging defence cooperation and expanding military-to-military engagement, information sharing, cooperation in emerging sectors of defence and mutual logistics support.”

The two sides reviewed the gamut of bilateral and multilateral exercises and agreed to pursue enhanced cooperation with the US Indo-Pacific Command, Central Command and Africa Command. “We have in place the foundational agreements, LEMOA, COMCASA and BECA, we discussed steps to be taken to realise their full potential for mutual benefit,” the Indian Defence Minister added.

The LEMOA allows sharing of logistics, the BECA allows geo-spatial mapping that allows missiles to travel along the curvature of the earth while the COMCASA allows for real-time information sharing between military platforms.

The US Secretary of Defence General Austin said, “I reaffirmed our commitment to a comprehensive and forward-looking defence partnership with India as a central pillar of our approach to the region.”

The US-India relationship is a stronghold of a free and open Indo-Pacific region, he said.

The two sides discussed opportunities to elevate the US-India Major Defence Partnership, a priority of the Biden-Harris Administration, through regional security cooperation, military-to-military interactions and defence trade, said General Austin.

The two sides are continuing to advance in new areas of collaboration. “This includes information-sharing, logistics cooperation, artificial intelligence and cooperation in new domains such as space and cyber,” said General Austin.

The Indian Defence Minister said, “We are keen to work together to realise the full potential of the India-US Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership”. 

“I look forward to working with you closely to make the India-US relationship one of the defining partnerships of 21st century,” Singh co -concluded.

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