NEW DELHI: The Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) that was signed on Thursday after the first ever India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue will give India access to high-end US defence technology.
COMCASA is one of the four foundational agreements that a country needs to sign to become a major defence partner of the US, the other three being General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA), the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMoA) and the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA).
While India signed the GSOMIA in 2002, and the LEMoA, which gives access to both countries to designated military facilities on either side for the purpose of refuelling and replenishment, in 2016 after being made a major defence partner, the BECA, which facilitates the exchange of geospatial data, is yet to be signed.
COMCASA guarantees India access to critical US defence technologies and communication network to help the militaries of the two countries in their interoperability.
The Indian armed forces will now also be allowed to install US-made high-security communication equipment on defence platforms sourced from America.
Earlier called the Communication and Information on Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA), the name was changed to COMCASA to reflect its India-specific nature.
It will enable India to optimally utilise its existing US-origin platforms like C-17, C-130 and P-81.
India was earlier using commercially available and less secure communication systems on such platforms.
COMCASA essentially provides a legal framework for transfer of communication security equipment from the US to India.