Current Affairs

US team of experts in Delhi to discuss key military agreement

Even after 2 years of the US granting India the status of a ‘Major Defence Partner’ in 2016, no tangible benefits on military technology front have come to India so far.
  • Preparations for the 2+2 dialogue between the foreign and defence ministers of India and the US in Washington next month are in full swing.
  • Starting today that is Monday, till Wednesday, a team of specialists from the Pentagon comprising of lawyers, and policy & technical experts will be meeting their counterparts on the Indian side in Delhi to negotiate the text of a “foundational” military communications agreement.
  • The US officials will try and address Indian observations on the draft Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) submitted earlier.
  • The Indian government in the past was not keen on signing the two other “foundational” agreements — COMCASA and Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation (BECA).

What should one know about COMCASA:

  • A legal framework for the transfer of communication security equipment from the US to India.
  • It would also facilitate “interoperability” between Indian and US forces and also with other militaries that use US-origin systems for secure data links.
  • It was called the Communication and Information on Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) before the name was changed to reflect its India-specific nature.
  • Finalisation of the COMCASA text or its signing is not expected during the inaugural 2+2 dialogue in Washington next month.
  • As per the American Officials: The Indian Military is currently dependent on commercially available and less secure communication systems on high-end American platforms like C-130Js and the P8I maritime surveillance aircraft.
  • Signing COMCASA is mandatory if India is to get the armed version of the Sea Guardian drones from Washington.
  • Defence ministry were reluctant in the past about signing the COMCASA as they fear American intrusive access to Indian military communication systems. 
  • Their is also a reasonable fear that a large quantity of Russian-origin and indigenous Indian military platforms may not be compatible with COMCASA.
US team of experts in Delhi to discuss key military agreement US team of experts in Delhi to discuss key military agreement Reviewed by Aman Bhatia on June 19, 2018 Rating: 5

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