What is Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA)?

The Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) is a military agreement signed between India and the United States in October 2020. It is one of the four foundational agreements that the US signs with its allies and strategic partners to facilitate interoperability and defence cooperation.

BECA aims to provide a framework for the exchange of geospatial information, classified satellite and topographical data, maps, and other sensitive information between the two countries. This agreement is expected to significantly boost India’s defence capabilities by improving the accuracy of its missile systems and enabling the country to access advanced satellite technology for navigation and communication.

One of the key features of BECA is the sharing of geospatial data, which includes real-time satellite imagery, mapping and terrain data. This information sharing will help in better planning of military operations, navigation and targeting of weapons. It will also aid in natural disaster response and management, as well as in the development of civilian applications such as transportation and agriculture.

Under BECA, both countries have agreed to set up secure communication systems to exchange classified information, thereby enhancing the security of military communications. This will ensure secure and encrypted communication between the two countries’ armed forces, making it difficult for adversaries to intercept the data.

BECA also facilitates joint training, military exercises, and research and development between the two countries, which will further strengthen their defence ties. The agreement is expected to enhance the Indo-US strategic partnership and provide a platform for future cooperation in various fields, including defence, space and technology.

BECA is an important milestone in India-US defence relations, as it provides a framework for the sharing of crucial information and technology that will enhance India’s defence capabilities. This agreement also demonstrates the growing strategic convergence between the two countries and the increasing importance of India in the US’ Indo-Pacific strategy.

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