India, Australia to share military logistics?

India, Australia to discuss military logistics sharing pact amid growing hostility from China

Narendra Modi file photo

India and Australia are likely to discuss next week a proposed agreement for sharing of military logistics, at a time when both the nations are finding themselves at the receiving end of the growing belligerence of China.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison will hold a bilateral summit through video-conference on Thursday. This is the first bilateral summit the Prime Minister will hold virtually with a foreign counterpart, after he and many other world leaders had to suspend overseas travels in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Modi and Morrison are likely to discuss a proposed agreement, which will set the framework for the armies, navies and air-forces of India and Australia to share military logistics.

India’s move to step up its military-to-military cooperation with Australia comes amid continuing tension along its disputed boundary with China in eastern Ladakh. Australia’s recent demand for a probe into the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic in China also strained its bilateral relations with the communist country, which retaliated by raising tariff on import of barley from Down Under. China also banned import of beef from four large abattoirs in Australia.

India recently opened its door for import of barley from Australia, by doing away with the requirement of treating the crop with methyl bromide. India’s move is likely to give some respite to the farmers of Australia and help them make up for the loss incurred due to the prohibitive tariff imposed by China.  

India is also set to sign a similar military logistics sharing pact – formally known as Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) – with Japan.

India already signed the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) with the United States in August 2016. Once New Delhi signs similar agreements with Tokyo and Canberra; Indian Army, Navy and Air Force will have logistics sharing arrangements with counterparts in all the three other nations in the Quad – United States, Japan and Australia.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox