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COMCASA agreement will enable info exchange to fight terror, says U.S. Admiral

Says concerned by threat coming from sea

India and the U.S. are cooperating to prevent all forms of terrorism both from land and sea, U.S. Chief of naval operations Admiral John M. Richardson said on Thursday. The Admiral, who was in India earlier this week on a three-day visit, said Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba and he were especially concerned by the threat “coming from the sea”.

Adm. Richardson said the foundational agreement, Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA), which India signed last year would enable exchange of information on such threats.

“We can constantly share information that we have. That will help in situational awareness in fighting terror,” he said in response to a pre-submitted question from The Hindu. He was addressing a teleconference from Singapore on the sidelines of the three-day Asia Pacific naval and maritime event, International Maritime Defence Exhibition (IMDEX).

With COMCASA, India has signed three of the four foundational agreements with the U.S., and discussions are under way on the final one, Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation (BECA). COMCASA allows India to procure specialised equipment for encrypted communications from the U.S. origin military platforms.

Two warships, INS Kolkata and INS Shakti, are also participating in IMDEX as also several Indian engineering and ship-building firms, including the Larsen & Toubro and the BrahMos aerospace corporation.

After IMDEX, the Indian ships along with a Navy P-8I long range maritime surveillance aircraft will participate in the 26th edition of the Singapore India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) scheduled from May 16 to 22. SIMBEX is the longest uninterrupted naval exercise that India has with any other country, the Navy said.

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