New Delhi: India has bought from the United States a batch of high-altitude warfare kits on the emergency basis as the country prepares for a long haul through the winters after talks with China to de-escalate border tensions along the Line of Control (LAC) reach no consensus. Also Read - The Truth Behind Pakistan's JF-17 Fleet And Its Failure
The Indian government has already been in talks with the global superpower for the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) deal that aims to extend the geospatial cooperation between the armed forces of both countries. Also Read - Amid Ladakh Standoff With India, China’s Ant Group Plans to Sell 30 % Stake in Paytm: Report
The agreement, which is expected to be signed during the 2+2 dialogue between the Defence and Foreign Ministers of the two countries in New Delhi on October 26 and 27. Also Read - China Imports 100,000 Tonnes of Rice From India For 1st Time in Decades Amid Ladakh Standoff
“The BECA is expected to be signed during the meeting between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Mark Esper on October 26-27 with their Indian counterparts including External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. The agreement will ensure that the armed forces of the two countries start talking to each other on enhancing geospatial cooperation,” top government sources told news agency ANI.
Moreover, the Indian Army also referred to the Logistics Exchange Memorandum Agreement signed in August 2016 which allows both countries to buy fuel and spare parts for warships and aircraft for transaction.
Sources said the negotiations between both the sides on this agreement had been completed some time ago and after the clearance by the government, it is ready to be signed during the dialogue.
It is believed that the signing of BECA and the follow-up arrangements between the sides will allow India to use American inputs on geospatial intelligence and to enhance military accuracy of automated hardware systems and weapons like cruise, ballistic missiles and drones.
India and China have been engaged in one of the worst standoffs in decades that has forced the two border nations to send thousands of their troops, tanks and missiles at the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Once the winter sets in the soldiers may have to face off at a 15,000 feet height with temperatures as low as -30 degrees Celsius.
Meanwhile, India and the US have been working very closely in the field of defence and security as India has acquired American equipment worth around $20 billion in the last 15 years including the C-17 Globemasters and the C-130J Super Hercules Special Operations transport aircraft which have become the mainstays of the Indian Air Force’s heavy-lift fleet.
In the field of choppers also, the American Chinook heavylift and Apache attack helicopters have come as force multipliers for the armed forces. The Army is also using the Ultra Light Howitzers from the US while the Navy has also recently opted for the American MH-60 Romeo anti-submarine warfare multirole choppers.
The two sides are also going to hold regular military exercises, with the Army set to hold the ‘Yudh Abhyas’ and ‘Vajra Prahar’ with American troops early next year while the Navy is going to take part in the Malabar series exercise in November in the Indian Ocean with the Australian and Japanese Navies also set to participate.