India soon to get MTCR membership, hopes to join NSG club

During PM Modi’s recent visit to the US, the President, and the PM made a joint statement confirming India’s intent of entering the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Obama said that the US welcomes India’s application to MTCR and the NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group).

MTCR is a voluntary association of 34 countries and four unilateral adherents (Israel, Romania, Slovakia and Macedonia), who follow their rules. It aims at slowing down the spread of missiles and other delivery technology that does not need to be manned.

The regime pushes members, which includes a large part of the world’s major missile manufacturers, to restrict the export of missiles and technologies related to it that are capable of carrying a 500kg payload for at least 300km, or of delivering any weapon of mass destruction.

A prospective member like India needs to win approval from the existing members. The US has a policy that members that are not recognized nuclear-weapon states — like India must eliminate or forgo ballistic missiles able to deliver a 500kg payload at least 300km. This was waived for Ukraine and India.

Members are required to have national policies governing the export of “ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, space-launch vehicles, drones, remotely piloted vehicles, sounding rockets, and their components.” India’s membership to the MTCR is pending the approval of the 34 existing members, although this just seems like a formality, for now.

There is no direct advantage to becoming a member but India hopes that this will help make the US consider exporting UAVs, Reaper and Global Hawk to India. These have been helpful in combating terrorism in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.

These exchanges of visit between the PM and US President have been very fruitful in terms of business and improving relationships between the countries. This visit also brought about news of Amazon investing another $3 billion in India. The PM has now returned to India after his five-nation tour.

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