The signing of these agreements runs counter to India`s growing maritime engagement with the Indo-Pacific Navies. The Indian Navy is currently conducting bilateral naval exercises with fourteen navies and coordinated patrols with four, most of which are in the Indo-Pacific. The last joint India-Singapore-Thailand maritime exercise, held on September 16, 2019 in Port Blair, expanded the Indian Navy`s repertoire to include joint exercises in the region5. Logistics agreements are administrative arrangements that facilitate access to military fuel exchange facilities and agree, facilitate logistical support and strengthen the operational turning point of the Indian army. India has signed four military logistics support agreements with partner countries and is in the process of managing the fifth with Russia. The topic came up for discussion during Defence Minister Rajnath Singh`s recent visit to Russia on 05-07 November 2019.1 Whether the agreement signed with Russia, known as the Reciprocal Logistics Support Agreement (RLSA), will be an important step in bilateral relations. As the name suggests, the agreement will facilitate the mutual use of logistics facilities by military personnel from both countries during visits to the other country`s ports, bases and military installations. “For years, there has been a huge misinformation in the Indian press about these agreements,” said Schwartz, who now works at the U.S. Business Council of India, which promotes trade relations between the two countries.
“What the signature shows is that the Modi government is willing to accept short-term political criticism and accept them, to sign these things for the longer term benefit of building defense relations with the United States.” Carter and Parrikar both sought on Monday to make it clear that the logistics agreement did not allow U.S. troops to support India. India is working to conclude three Military Logistics Support Agreements (MLSAs) by the end of the year, which will further improve the army`s operational reach in the region. India has already signed such agreements with some countries, starting with the United States. The navy took the most advantage. Australia had submitted an MLSA project shortly after India signed LEMOA, but New Delhi said at the time that it would use more logistics pacts after the first one was put into service. In March, before the bilateral naval exercise AUSINDEX, Australian diplomatic sources sounded the tone for a pact that said the argument for one was “imperative.” AUSINDEX saw the participation of Australia`s largest naval contingent to India with 1,000 employees and assets. The United States has agreed to raise trade and technology with India to a level equivalent to its closest allies and partners. An important step in U.S.-India defense relations, the agreement, a relatively mundane agreement on daily military logistics, is nevertheless an important step in U.S.-India defense relations because of the overreach it had adopted in India, where it had touched internal political sensitivities, experts said. “If we get the LSA, it will go a long way to facilitating future activity, which means that the scale of the activity involved means that the paperwork is quite huge,” diplomatic sources said. A diplomatic source said last year that a refuelling exercise between the two marines last year had “become a modeling exercise, because we couldn`t really switch on fuel because we didn`t have an agreement on logistics.” The ASA would require both countries to provide their bases, fuel and other types of logistical support to each other`s combat and naval warfare warships.