The United States Department of State has approved the sale of 24 MH-60R multi-mission helicopters to India under its Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. These naval helicopters ✓ capability to perform anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions ✓ ability to perform secondary missions, including vertical replenishment, ✓ search and rescue, ✓ communications relay. What is FMS? ➢ The U.S. Department of Defense's Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program facilitates sales of U.S. arms, defense equipment, defense services, and military training to foreign governments. ➢ The purchaser does not deal directly with the defense contractor ➢ Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the body that administers the FMS program ➢ Often provides product support, training, and infrastructure construction (such as hangars, runways, utilities, etc.). ➢ The Defense Contract Management Agency often accepts FMS equipment on behalf of the US government. Criteria for arms sales by the US In the case of India and most other non-NATO countries, Congress must be notified for sale of Major Defense Equipment (MDE) of $14 million and above, defence articles and services of $50 million and above and design and construction services of $200 million and above. India and USA’s defense partnerships ✓ India was granted the unique Major Defence Partner (MDP) designation in 2016 ✓ India was then given Strategic Trade Authorisation-1 (STA-1) status by the U.S., the  third Asian country after South Korea and Japan (and 37th country globally) to acquire it. ✓ India also signed the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) agreement with the U.S. ✓ COMCASA provides a legal basis for the U.S. to transfer secure communication equipment to India, increasing military equipment interoperability and real time data sharing. ✓ COMCASA is an India-specific version of the Communication and Information on Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA). It comes into force immediately, and is valid for a period 10 years. ✓ COMCASA allows India to procure transfer specialised equipment for encrypted communications for US origin military platforms like the C-17, C-130 and P-8Is. ✓ Currently, these platforms use commercially available communication systems. Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Association (LEMOA) ✓ LEMOA stands for Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), a tweaked India-specific version of the Logistics Support Agreement (LSA), which the U.S. has with several countries it has close military to military cooperation. ✓ It is also one of the three foundational agreements — as referred to by the U.S. .LEMOA gives access, to both countries, to designated military facilities on either side for the purpose of refuelling and replenishment. ✓ India and the U.S. already hold large number of joint exercises during which payments are done each time, which is a long and tedious process. ✓ Under the new agreement, a mechanism will be instituted for book-keeping and payments and officials, who will act as nodal points of contact, will be designated on both sides. ✓ The agreement covers four areas — port calls, joint exercises, training and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief. Any other requirement has to be agreed upon by both sides on a case-by-case basis. Foundational agreements which the U.S. signs with countries with which it has close military ties. o The three agreements — Logistics Support Agreement (LSA), Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) and Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation (BECA) o India had signed the General Security Of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) in 2002 and the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016. o The last one remaining is the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation (BECA). ]]>