India and Sweden are likely to sign Cooperation in Polar Science, during the visit to India of the Swedish royal couple. It is their first maritime cooperation agreement comprising both Arctic and Antarctic.
- India has signed a series of maritime information exchange as well as military logistics support agreements in the last few years.
- The Pact with the USA - the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Understanding (LEMOA)
- The pact with Russia - The Agreement on Reciprocal Logistics Support (ARLS).
- The pact with Japan - the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA)
- They are administrative arrangements facilitating access to military facilities for exchange of fuel and provisions on mutual agreement when the Indian military is operating abroad.
- They simplify logistical support and increases operational turnaround of the military away from India.
Benefits and mutual significance:
- The biggest beneficiary is the Navy which interacts and exercises the most with foreign navies.
- When operating on the high seas, exercises or during humanitarian assistance missions fuel, food and other needs can be exchanged and settled through the established modalities later.
- They help to fulfill the Indian Navy’s requirement to maintain round-the-clock presence in its primary areas of interest, the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
- Cooperation in Polar Science
- It will extend the reach of its armed forces.
- It is pure scientific cooperation, thus enhancing the scientific outreach of Indian Defence establishments.
- India has Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) which includes designating the points of contact for the U.S. military to work with.
- A common account for payments using SOPs.
- The SOPs are applicable to all three services with each service has a designated LEMOA office.
- Enhances Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) in the Indo-Pacific region.
- Arrangement for deeper cooperation between the Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF).
- It will give India access to Russian bases in the Arctic for logistics and operational turnaround.
- The air force too will benefit by finding it easier to deploy aircraft for the same purpose.
- Russia will be able to access Indian ports and air bases.