New Delhi: US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper are in India for the third round of the US-India 2 + 2 Ministerial Dialogue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and their Indian counterparts. The ministerial dialogue is of great importance this time as the two countries will put their signature on a historic agreement today.
India and the United States are expected to sign the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) for geospatial cooperation today, the Union Ministry of Defense confirmed.
Under the BECA, the two countries can exchange maps, aeronautical and nautical charts, commercial images and other unclassified images, geodetic, geophysical, geomagnetic and gravitational data.
Considering the current geopolitical situation, this data will be relevant to both the northern and western borders of India. Since this is a bilateral agreement, India is also expected to share similar data with the United States as well.
Nonetheless, it is a beneficial deal for India, as it would have access to military-grade data that can help establish target coordinates. For example, military-grade coordinates could help direct aerial bomb missiles at a terrorist location in the neighborhood with great precision.