Issue India has joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
What is the MTCR? The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) is an informal political understanding.
When was the MTCR established? The regime was formed in 1987 by the G-7 industrialized countries .
Is the MTCR a treaty? No. The MTCR is not a treaty .
What is the relationship between the MTCR and the UN? There is no formal linkage.
What are the main objectives of the MTCR? The MTCR seeks to limit the risks of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by controlling exports of goods and technologies.
How does the MTCR achieve its objectives? Export Controls, Meetings and Dialogue and Outreach.
How are decisions made in the MTCR? All MTCR decisions including decisions on membership require a consensus.
Members of MTCR It is a voluntary association of 35 countries.
How does the MTCR work?Members must have national policies governing export of ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, etc.
Does joining the MTCR make getting missile technology easier? There are no special concessions for MTCR members.
Benefit of being its member? India’s accession will be seen as strengthening its own export controls.
Brahmos Missile Export Some believe that India now will be able to sell BrahMos.
What are other benefits of it? India can play an active role in curbing the global missile non-proliferation threat.
- India has joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
What is the MTCR?
- The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) is an informal political understanding among states that seek to limit the proliferation of missiles and missile technology.
When was the MTCR established?
- The regime was formed in 1987 by the G-7 industrialized countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the United States).
Is the MTCR a treaty?
- No. The MTCR is not a treaty and does not impose any legally binding obligations on Partners (members). Rather, it is an informal political understanding among states that seek to limit the proliferation of missiles and missile technology.
What is the relationship between the MTCR and the UN?
- While there is no formal linkage, the activities of the MTCR are consistent with the UN’s non-proliferation and export control efforts. For example, applying the MTCR Guidelines and Annex on a national basis helps countries to meet their export control obligations under UN Security Council Resolution.
What are the main objectives of the MTCR?
- The MTCR seeks to limit the risks of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by controlling exports of goods and technologies that could make a contribution to delivery systems (other than manned aircraft) for such weapons. In this context, the Regime places particular focus on rockets and unmanned aerial vehicles capable of delivering a payload of at least 500 kg to a range of at least 300 km and on equipment, software, and technology for such systems.
How does the MTCR achieve its objectives?
- Export Controls– The Regime rests on adherence to common export policy (the Guidelines) applied to an integral common list of items (the MTCR Equipment, Software, and Technology Annex.)
- Meetings -MTCR Partners regularly exchange information about relevant missile non-proliferation issues in the context of the Regime’s overall aims.
- Dialogue and Outreach-The MTCR Chair and MTCR Partners undertake outreach activities to non-Partners in order to keep them informed about the group’s activities and to provide practical assistance regarding efforts to prevent the proliferation of WMD delivery systems.
How are decisions made in the MTCR?
- All MTCR decisions including decisions on membership require a consensus decision by all current Regime members.
Members of MTCR
- Established in April 1987, it is a voluntary association of 34 countries — now 35, after India is formally included — and four “unilateral adherents” that follow its rules: Israel, Romania, Slovakia, Macedonia.
How does the MTCR work?
- Members must have national policies governing export of ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, space launch vehicles, drones, remotely piloted vehicles, sounding rockets, and their components.
There are two categories of exports:
- Category I, which are basically exports of complete products and major sub-systems and are meant to be extremely rare — with guidelines instructing members that “there will be strong presumption to deny transfers”; and
- Category II, which includes materials, technologies and components whose transfers can be made more easily, since they generally have civilian applications, even though these too are done with caution.
Does joining the MTCR make getting missile technology easier?
- There are no special concessions for MTCR members (The MTCR Guidelines do not distinguish between exports to Partners and exports to non-Partners. Moreover, the MTCR Partners have explicitly affirmed that membership in the Regime provides no entitlement to obtain technology from another Partner and no obligation to supply it.).
- But India hopes its MTCR membership will be one more reason for the US to consider exporting Category 1 UAVs, Reaper and Global Hawk, which have been key to counter-terrorism efforts in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.
- These drones have so far been sold to only one country, the UK, though unarmed versions have also been made available to Italy and South Korea. The US has been rethinking rules on exports, aware that competitors in Israel, Russia and China are working on similar products — and India wants to be at the head of the queue when the Reaper and the Global Hawk go on the market.
Benefit of being its member?
- India’s accession will be seen as strengthening its own export controls, and thus will make it easier for other MTCR members to justify transferring sensitive technology to India.
- While MTCR guidelines themselves do not explicitly distinguish between transfers to members and non-members – they focus instead on what is being exported and end-use, rather than the membership status of the recipient – American law does make this distinction. In particular, it specifically targets foreigners who help the missile programmes of MTCR non-members. India’s formal membership will presumably mean that other countries can be less fearful of US sanctions if they wish to sell to India.
- India’s space programme will be an obvious beneficiary, because in the 1990s, New Delhi’s pursuit of Russian cryogenic engine technology was stymied by the MTCR. Because cryogenic engine used in rocket can also be used in missile.
Brahmos Missile Export
- Some believe that India now will be able to sell BrahMos, a development that would make India a significant arms exporter for the first time.
- But some experts believe that the idea is misplaced because BrahMos’ range is reported to be – suspiciously – fractionally below the threshold for the MTCR(Brahmos Range is said to be 290 but to come under MTCR it should be more than 300). Indian membership, therefore, makes no difference to whether New Delhi can export it or not.
- MTCR member Russia co-developed BrahMos with non-member India thus, the regime alone cannot be a stumbling block to Indian transfers to a third party.
- But if, as many suspect, the BrahMos’ true range has been understated, and it is in fact covered by the regime, then India’s membership makes export harder, not easier, not least because all of these potential customers, apart from South Africa, are not MTCR members.
What are other benefits of it?
- India can play an active role in curbing the global missile non-proliferation threat.
- Being member of MTCR India will be able to participate in decision-making on the orientation and future of the MTCR, thereby setting the international standard for responsible missile non-proliferation behaviour and helping to guide the international missile non-proliferation effort.
- It is possible China may now seek some kind of bargain, whereby it is given entry to the MTCR in return for letting India get into the NSG, where it wields a veto.