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India’s Military Logistics Agreements with various nations explained

India’s Military Logistics Agreements with various nations explained

Relevance:

  • GS 3 || Security || Tackling Security Threats || Army, Navy & Airforce

Why in the news?

India has embraced military logistics agreements with a wide range of countries in response to China’s expanding actions in the Indo-Pacific.

Present Context:

  • India and Russia are set to sign a bilateral military logistics agreement in the coming months.
  • The United States of America (USA), France, South Korea, Australia, Singapore, and Russia have all inked Logistics Supply Agreements with India. India and the UK are planning to establish a Logistics Supply Agreement (LSA).

What is a logistics agreement?

  • Logistics agreements are bilateral arrangements for facilitating access to military facilities between nations.
  • Logistics agreements are merely administrative arrangements between strategic partners that would facilitate replenishment of fuel, rations, and spare parts, as well as berthing and maintenance for each other’s warships, military aircraft, and troops during port visits and joint exercises, on a reciprocal basis.
  • Logistics agreements essentially simplify the process of extending logistical support to one other.

India & Logistics agreements:

  • The debate for signing logistics agreements in India began in the mid-2000s. It took a decade for India to debate the pros and cons of signing such an agreement with the United States.
  • However since the signing of the LEMOA, India has become more comfortable in concluding such arrangements with other countries.

  • Since 2016, India has signed several logistics agreements:
    • USA
    • Australia
    • Japan
    • France
    • Singapore
    • South Korea

Advantage of Logistics Supply Agreement (LSA):

  • Required logistics for sustaining: It helps a country in power projection in international waters, far away from its borders. It is possible since the nation’s armed forces does not have to carry all the required logistics for sustaining itself at a faraway location from its home turf.
  • Necessary logistics supply: Hence a country’s surveillance aircrafts, fighter aircrafts, and warships can enter into the other nation’s (with LSA has been signed) airports and ports for the necessary logistics supply.
  • This agreement sends across a strategic message to the target country.
  • Response to a crisis situation: LSA helps in swift response to a crisis situation, tracking of enemy ships, thereby increasing the Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA).
  • Maintaining presence: It helps in maintaining presence in an area of importance, for an entire year, round the clock without interruption.

Things that need to taken care of during LSA:

  • The logistics support should be limited to certain scenarios, such as joint military exercises, disaster relief initiatives, or any other mutually agreed-upon situation.
  • It is important to ensure that the degree of autonomy in selecting when the agreement will apply is preserved.
  • This agreement entails the establishment of warehousing facilities in each other’s countries. It’s concerning because such locations are guarded by their own people.
  • In addition, India should ensure that it preserves the power to refuse access to supplies in unusual cases.

India and other countries have signed a Logistics Supply Agreement (LSA):

  • India & USA:
  • Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA): It was signed in the year 2016. This agreement permits each military to use the logistical facilities of the other. The Indian Navy’s range and reach will be expanded thanks to LEMOA. For example, the Indian Navy can exploit a US station in Guam to expand its reach.
    • The Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) is an acronym for Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement. It is a military agreement that specifies basic terms, conditions, and procedures for logistic support, supplies, and services between the Armed Forces of India and the United States of America. Medical services, training, spare parts, fuel, food, water, transportation, clothes, repair, maintenance, and communication services are all included in the agreement. The LEMOA, for example, gives India access to refueling facilities and US military bases in Djibouti, Diego Garcia, Guam, and Subic Bay. Under the LEMOA, there have already been examples of practical cooperation between India and the United States.
    • Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA): It was signed in November 2020 between India and the United States. With this deal, the Indian military will have access to geospatial intelligence data from the US (USA). This will aid in the improvement of long-range weapon accuracy.
    • Communication Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (COMCASA): In 2018, this pact was signed. It focuses primarily on the use of encrypted communication networks, which are essential for optimal usage of high-end defense equipment such as the Indian Navy’s P-8I Maritime Surveillance aircraft.
  • India & Australia: On June 4, 2020, India and Australia inked a comprehensive Mutual Logistic Support Agreement (MLSA). It’s the first time a virtual bilateral meeting has resulted in an agreement. Both countries emphasized a shared vision for Indo-Pacific maritime cooperation.
  • India & France: The India-France LSA agreement will enhance peace and stability in the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions. India’s and France’s navies will share marine intelligence.
  • India & Singapore: On June 1, 2020, India and Singapore inked a Logistics Support Agreement. This agreement covers helicopters, planes, warships, and submarines that operate from ships.
  • India & Japan: Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement was struck by India and Japan in the area of logistics supply (ACSA). In September 2020, the deal was signed.
  • India & South Korea: In September of this year, India and South Korea signed a mutual support logistics agreement. The Indian Navy’s reach has now expanded all the way to the north of the South China Sea as a result of this arrangement.

Conclusion:

For more than a decade, India has avoided signing military logistics deals. China, on the other hand, has aided India’s embrace of like-minded partners around the Indo-Pacific, notably through logistics agreements.

Mains oriented question:

What is a logistics agreement? What are its advantages and disadvantages? (200 words)