LEMOA Current Affairs

Reliance Defence signs warship repair pact with US Navy

Anil Ambani group led Reliance Defence and Engineering Limited (RDEL) has signed a Master Ship Repair Agreement (MSRA) with the US Navy to provide repair and alteration services for ships of the Seventh Fleet.

With this, RDEL became first Indian company (either public or private) to provide logistical support to the US military within Indian territory.

Key Facts
  • Under this agreement, RDEL will maintain the vessels of US Seventh Fleet involving 100 vessels operating in the Indian Ocean.
  • The signing of a MSRA agreement is a follow-up to the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) signed between India and US in August 2016.
  • These vessels will be serviced and repaired from the RDEL owned private shipyard in Pipavav in Gujarat. This deal is likely to generate Rs. 10,000 crore in revenues for RDEL in the next five years.
  • The Pipavav shipyard was qualified and approved by US government to perform complex repair and alteration services for the US Navy after a detailed site survey conducted in October 2016.
  • The US Seventh Fleet looks after the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean. Currently, these vessels visit Singapore or Japan for such works.

Note: RDIL is the first private sector company in India to obtain the licence and contract to build Naval Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) for Indian Navy. Its Pipavav shipyard is only modular shipbuilding facility in India having capacity to build fully fabricated and outfitted blocks. 

About LEMOA

It is a tweaked India-specific version of the logistics support agreement (LSA), which US has close military to military co-operation with several countries. LEMOA gives access, to both countries, to designated military facilities on either side for the purpose of refuelling and replenishment. It should be noted that it does not create any obligations on either Party to carry out any joint activity. It does not provide for the establishment of any bases or basing arrangements.

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India, US sign LEMOA

India and the United States have signed Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) that will enable both countries to use each other’s bases for repair and replenishment of defence supplies.

The agreement was signed after Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar met his US counterpart, Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter in Washington, D.C.

The logistics agreement signed was based on the memorandum in principle reached between two leaders in April 2016.

What is LEMOA?

  • LEMOA is another name for Logistics Support Agreement (LSA), an agreement that US has signed with many of its allies.
  • It allows defence forces countries to avail defence logistics support facilities such as fuel, spare parts, mechanics, etc. during joint training, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), and port calls.
  • Besides, it also lays out the procedure for billing for these facilities as part of a larger accounting transaction and details are contained in clarifying protocols annexed to LEMOA.

Under LEMOA

  • LEMOA is facilitating agreement that establishes basic terms, conditions, and procedures for reciprocal provision of Logistic Support, Supplies, and Services (LSSS).
  • LSSS include food, billeting, water, medical services, transportation, petroleum, oils, lubricants, clothing, communication services, storage services, training services, spare parts and components, repair and maintenance services and port services.
  • Reciprocal logistic support would be used exclusively during authorized port visits, joint training, joint exercises, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.
  • Provision of LSSS from one Party to the other would be in return for either cash payment or the reciprocal provision of Logistic Support, Supplies, and Services.
  • Logistics support for any other cooperative efforts will only be provided on a case-by-case basis through prior mutual consent of both countries

Note

  • LEMOA does not create any obligations on either Party to carry out any joint activity. It does not provide for the establishment of any bases or basing arrangements.
  • It will significantly help to enhance the operational capacity of the Indian Armed Forces, including in their response to humanitarian crises or disaster relief.

LEMOA is one of the three foundational agreements that guide US high technology cooperation in defence sector with other countries. Other two are Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) and Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation (BECA).

What is CISMOA?

  • CISMOA will allow the US to supply India with its propriety encrypted communications equipment and systems.
  • Thus, it will allow to secure peacetime and wartime communication between high-level military leaders on both sides.
  • CISMOA will also extend this capability to Indian and US military assets, including aircraft and ships.
  • So far US has blocked sale of some of its advanced technologies and sensitive equipments to India on account of non-signing this agreement.

What is BECA?

BECA would facilitate exchange of geospatial information between India and US for both military and civilian use.

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