The focus would be a lot on defence, when US President Donald Trump arrives in India next week. During the visit, a calendar for the signing of the third foundation military communication agreement between India and the United States would be indicated.

Several more deals will be signed for defence purchases, sources familiar with the developments told MyNation. 

Defence deals on the cards:
The defence deals would include a $ 2.4 billion for 24 MH-60R Sikorsky helicopters. There would also be a further order of 8 Poseidon P81 multi-mission aircraft for the Indian Navy.
In addition to this, there would also be a $ 930 million deal for 6 Apache AH-64E attack helicopters for the Indian Army from Boeing. It may be recalled that these were approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security this week. A full spectrum missile shield for New Delhi is also on the cards.


The official cited above said that talks on the finalisation of the Basic Exchange and Co-operation Agreement (BECA) will begin in March. This is an important development as it would allow India and the US to exchange geospatial maps. 

This would ensure military accuracy of automated hardware systems and weapons, which include ballistic and cruise missiles. The Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA), Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement and BECA are the foundational military communications between India and the United States. COMCASA allows the US to transfer communication equipment to India. This would help secure transmission of real time information and data. This deal it may be recalled was sealed between the US and India during the Two Plus Two talks last year in Washington.

Modernising the military:

The highlight of the visit would be the defence deal. India has been modernising its military, due to which it increased defence purchases from the United States. India has in recent years procured around $ 18 billion worth of military hardware from the US.

These have included the Boeing C-17 Globemaster heavy lift aircraft, Apache attack helicopters and Lockheed Martin’s C-130J Super Hercules aircraft.

Earlier this week, the United States had approved the sale of an Integrated Air Defence Weapon System to India at an estimated cost of $ 1.8 billon. The White House had said that the visit by Trump to India will further strengthen the US-India strategic partnership and highlight the strong and enduring bonds between the American and Indian people.

It may be recalled that in December 2019, India and the US had signed the Industrial Security Annexe to the General Security of Military Information Agreement. This provided a boost to the Make in India programme as it allowed sharing of classified information between the defence manufacturers of both countries.

In the backdrop of the FATF meet:

The visit also comes in the backdrop of the just concluded plenary of the Financial Action Task Force. The talks between Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi would focus on terrorism and cooperation between the two countries.

The FATF said that Pakistan would continue in the Grey List until June 2020 and if satisfactory action is not taken by then, it would be downgraded to the black list. Modi and Trump would also discuss Pakistan and the action it needs to take especially on terror. The US has backed India heavily in recent years on issues such as Masood Azhar, terror funding by Pakistan and also the sheltering of Dawood Ibrahim. A joint statement at the end of the summit would also include these issues.