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India-US Agree to Share Military Facilities
Apr 18, 2016

India and the United States have agreed in principle to share military logistics, as both sides seek to counter the growing maritime assertiveness of China. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter made this announcement after delegation-level talks between two sides on the final day of Carter’s three-day visit to India recently.

Key Features

Bringing to an end years of dithering and sending clear signals of willingness on both sides to counter the growing maritime assertiveness of China, India and the United States have agreed in principle to sign a Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMA) to provide supplies and fuel to each other’s armed forces from their bases.

LEMA is one of three agreements, often referred to as foundational agreements. The other two are the Communications and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) and Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA).

  • India and the US have been negotiating the signing of Logistics Support Agreement (LSA) for a decade.

  • This does not, however, mean stationing of American troops on Indian soil.

  • As and when a situation arises, like an earthquake or a natural disaster, that is when it is directed at. It will be applicable on a case-to-case basis but under the agreement

  • It provides support for each other’s platform where they need fuel and supplies.

  • Both countries have also agreed to set up a new bilateral Maritime Security Dialogue between officials of respective defence and foreign ministries.They also decided to enhance ongoing Navy-to-Navy discussions to cover submarine-related issues, besides deepening cooperation in Maritime Domain Awareness by finalising a White Shipping Agreement.

  • The two sides also announced finalisation of four government-to-government project agreements in the area of science and technology cooperation: Atmospheric Sciences for High Energy Lasers, Cognitive Tools for Target Detection, Small Intelligent Unmanned Aerial Systems, and Blast and Blunt Traumatic Brain Injury.

Ashton Carter also announced addition of two more pathfinder projects— Digital Helmet Mounted Displays and the Joint Biological Tactical Detection System—under the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI). He also said that the aircraft carrier working group has been a success and the US was looking to transfer flat deck technology to India for its new aircraft carrier.

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