India is working with the US to sign a pact to share its satellite data to improve US missile and drone accuracy. Both states are expected to make the announcement the next week with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo set to visit the India, Sri Lanka and Maldives just two weeks ahead of the US Presidential Election.
The US has been escalating the growing tensions with China after approving the sale of a number of advanced weapons system to Taiwan. In this end, US has been urging India to join it as a part of the “Open and Free Indo-Pacific” plan, a counter to China’s “Silk Road”.
The US has sold over $21 billion worth arms to India since 2007, ensuring that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s will approve of the US military agreements. The current accord will see India granting access to topographical, nautical and aeronautical data from Indian satellites and radar systems.
Though India has traditionally been against actively taking part in US led military efforts, the current tension between India and China has meant that India is willing to capitalize of the high tension relations between the US and China. This was seen when India announced that after seven years, Australia will also be participating in the India led Naval military exercise “Malabar 2020” with US and Japan. The US is scheduled in send their largest carrier USS Gerald R Ford, a move which could upset Beijing, destabilizing the south Asian region.