NEW DELHI - India will sign the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) with the US during the late August visit of Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar to the US, according to a senior official of the Indian Ministry of Defense.

LEMOA will enable the nations to access supplies, spare parts and services from each other's land facilities, air bases, and ports, which can then be reimbursed, the MoD official said.

However, the signing of the LEMOA does not give automatic access to the use of military bases, the official added. With the signing of the agreement, Indian warships can have access to U.S. bases in the Indian Ocean.

India has provided logistics assistance to the U.S. in the past on case-by-case basis, including providing refueling facilities to American aircraft during the Gulf War in 2001.

India and the US agreed in principle to sign the LEMOA in April this year. LEMOA is different from the Logistics Support Agreement that the US signs with other countries, the MoD official said; LEMOA is specific to India.

"Washington has been urging New Delhi to sign the LSA along with two other agreements which it regards as foundational agreements to enable the India-U.S. military relationship to grow deeper," said Mahindra Singh, a defense analyst here.

The three agreements are the Communications and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement, the Logistics Support Agreement and the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for geospatial intelligence.

Vivek Raghuvanshi is the India correspondent for Defense News.

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