Q Why is it in News ?
A The US State Department has approved the sale of six P-8I patrol aircraft and related equipment to India.
- The six aircraft will come fitted with encrypted systems, as India has signed the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) with the US.
- The Defence Acquisition Council approved the procurement of the aircraft in 2019.
Q What are some key details about P-8I Aircraft ?
- About the P-8I Aircraft:
- It is a long-range maritime reconnaissance and Anti-Submarine Warfare Aircraft.
- It is a variant of the P-8A Poseidon aircraft that Boeing company developed as a replacement for the US Navy’s ageing P-3 fleet.
- With a maximum speed of 907 kmph and an operating range of over 1,200 nautical miles, the P-8Is detect threats and neutralize them if required, far before they come anywhere near Indian shores.
- Indian Navy became the first international customer for the P-8 aircraft in 2009.
Q What is COMCASA Agreement ?
- COMCASA Agreement:
- COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement) is meant to provide a legal framework for the transfer of communication security equipment from the US to India that would facilitate “interoperability” between their forces — and potentially with other militaries that use US-origin systems for secured data links.
- It is one of the four foundational agreements that the US signs with allies and close partners to facilitate interoperability between militaries and sale of high end technology.
- It is an India-specific version of the Communication and Information on Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA).
Q Which are Four Foundational Agreements between the US and its Partners ?
- General Security Of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA)
- GSOMIA allows militaries to share the intelligence gathered by them.
- Signed by India in 2002.
- Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA):
- LEMOA allows both countries to have access to each other’s designated military facilities for refueling and replenishment.
- Signed by India in 2016.
- Communications and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA)
- Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) is the India specific version of CISMOA.
- Signed by India in 2018.
- Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA)
- BECA will allow India and US militaries to share geospatial and satellite data with each other.
- India has signed BECA in 2020.