April 20, 2018

A new U.S. policy makes it (somewhat) easier to export drones

By Michael Horowitz and Joshua Schwartz

The Trump administration just announced a new drone export policy designed to make it easier for U.S. companies to export drones, including armed drones. Given concerns about the proliferation of these lethal systems, what explains this policy shift?

U.S. drone export policy is determined both by domestic policy and U.S. obligations as a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), a voluntary export control regime with 35 member states. Created in 1987, the MTCR was designed to prevent the spread of missiles with the potential to carry weapons of mass destruction.

Even though drones are more akin to airplanes than missiles, drones that can travel more than 300 kilometers and carry a payload of more than 500 kilograms are subject to the “strong presumption of denial” for export by MTCR members. As a result, U.S. armed drones have only been approved for sale to the Britain, Italy and France.


Read the full article at The Washington Post

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