India has finally become a part of the coveted MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime), a move that will greatly enhance its potential to export missiles, giving a boost to the indigenous defence sector. Not only that, India will also get access to high-end missile technology from other countries.
MEA sources told FE Online, “India’s MTCR membership is expected to facilitate high technology tie ups with Indian industry and ease access to high tech items for space and defence programmes.”
The MTCR Point of Contact in Paris conveyed the decision regarding India’s accession to the regime through the Embassy of France in New Delhi as well as the Embassies of the Netherlands and Luxembourg, an MEA statement said.
This leg-up for India comes even as PM Narendra Modi-led NDA government failed to bag enough support for the country for membership of the elite Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG).
The aim of the MTCR is to restrict the proliferation of missiles, complete rocket systems, unmanned air vehicles and related technology for those systems capable of carrying a 500 kilogramme payload for at least 300 kilometres, as well as systems intended for the delivery of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
India had applied for the MTCR membership last year and its application was under consideration as part of a “silent procedure” which ended without any objection from any country.
MTCR’s current partners are; Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, US.
Bolstering the non-proliferation agenda! In a signal move, India joins the Missile Technology Control Regime today pic.twitter.com/RrEUwxOgOV
— Vikas Swarup (@MEAIndia) June 27, 2016
Admission to the MTCR would open the way for India to buy high-end missile technology, also making more realistic its aspiration to buy surveillance drones such as the Predator, made by General Atomics.
Membership of the MTCR would require India to comply with rules such as a maximum missile range of 300 km (186 miles) that seek to prevent arms races from developing.
India makes the “world’s fastest” supersonic cruise missile, the Brahmos, in a joint venture with Russia that both countries hope to sell to third countries, a development that would make India a significant arms exporter for the first time.
(With inputs from Agencies)