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India and the US to conduct military exercise “Yudh Abhyas”

[GS Paper 3 – Defence and Security]

Context – India and US will hold the 18th edition of the “Yudh Abhyas” series of war games between October 14 to 31 in Uttarakhand’s Auli.

The mega military exercise is aimed at enhancing understanding, cooperation and interoperability between the armies of India and the US with a number of complex drills being planned.

Key Highlights

  • The exercise comes against the backdrop of a rapidly changing situation in the Indo – pacific. 
  • While India and China have been locked in a stand-off since 2020 in Ladakh. US-China relations are on a boil since US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, which China claims as a part of its territory. 
  • The last edition was held in Alaska, the United States in October 2021.
  • Relations between India and US have improved since 2016 when the US designated India a “Major Defence Partner”. Since 2016 the two countries have signed many major defence and security pacts.

Defence Pacts between India and USA

  • In 2016, the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) was signed between the two countries which allows their militaries to use each other’s bases for repair and replenishment of supplies as well as provides for deeper cooperation.
  • In 2018, COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement) was signed which allows for interoperability between the two militaries and provides for the sale of high-end technology from the US to India.
  • In 2020, BECA (Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement) was signed to further boost bilateral defence ties. It provides for sharing of high-end military technology, logistics and geospatial maps between the two countries.
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