Recently, India gained entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (M.T.C.R.), after 12 long years. What is the M.T.C.R.? and how does it benefit India?
The M.T.C.R. is a Multi-lateral Export Control Regime (M.E.C.R.). The M.E.C.R. is an international body that nations use to regulate and organize their National export systems. M.T.C.R. is an informal and voluntary partnership of 35 countries, which aims at preventing the proliferation of missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles that are capable of carrying a payload of more than 500kg and over 300km.
It was established by the G-7 countries Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Japan and United States of America (U.S.A.). The M.T.C.R. was created to curb the spread of unmanned systems of delivery for Nuclear weapons.
Entry into M.T.C.R. is an important step for India, not only from a defense point of view, but also from the perspective of the economy and global image. India has a very good and sophisticated missile program, as M.T.C.R. membership will legitimize and give India the opportunity to export its missile to countries in Asia as well as around the globe. Allowing it to increase its name as a ‘defense exporter’ rather than ‘defense importer’ as I stated in my previous article, HAL – Tejas. The export of missiles in the defense sector will be a major step towards the Prime Minister’s project of ‘Make in India.’
M.T.C.R. membership not only gives access to missiles or missile related technologies, but also will give India the much needed Ballistic Missile shield or protection system which is basically surface to air missiles that intercept any incoming lethal missiles aimed at the country.
The Asian superpower, China, is not a member of the M.T.C.R. (though it does follow the very first rules and guidelines set out by the M.T.C.R. but not the revised versions) and the membership of India is a threat to its growing influence, not only in Asia but on the planet.
The U.S.A. has developed the most advanced drone technology and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (see my article on UAV ), like the MQ-1 Predator Drone and membership of M.T.C.R. allows India the opportunity to acquire this piece of amazing technology that will give it an edge over its enemies as well as help in surveillance for domestic threats.
Apart from just missile technology, India also has the chance to acquire another type of technology that was denied to it before and that is the cryogenic engines. These engines are essential to space exploration and will be vital to the growing space program of the Indian Space Research Organization (I.S.R.O.), in which also India is making considerable progress.
India’s entry into the M.T.C.R. marks the beginning of a new era for the Indian defense sector and it definitely is intimidating to its not-so-friendly neighbors. India officially joined Missile Technology Control Regime, on 27th June days after it was denied entry into N.S.G. (Nuclear Suppliers Group), another 45 member coalition. Though disappointing that India couldn’t get membership for both, it definitely is better to get something rather than nothing.