On Monday, India took a big step forward in missile technology by becoming a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
India’s entry into the group, will enable India to buy high-end missile technology. MTCR is expected to provide a multilateral export control regime with 35 member countries working on missile technology. This will also enable India to form joint ventures with Russia to develop missiles.
“Bolstering the non-proliferation agenda, in a signal move, India joins the Missile Technology Control Regime today,” tweeted MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup.
MTCR membership is being seen as a positive move for India after it failed attempt to get into Nuclear Suppliers Group. China had stonewalled India’s entry into the elite nuke group at the Seoul’s plenary.
Interstingly, China is not a member of MTCR.
“India has joined the MTCR this morning…India’s entry into the regime as its thirty-fifth member would be mutually beneficial in the furtherance of international non-proliferation objectives,” said the External Affairs Ministry in a statement.
Entry into MTCR allows Indian Space Research Organisation to explore Cryogenic engines used by NASA to launch rockets. It will also allow India to sell missiles like Brahmos apart from opening a window to purchase surveillance drones from USA.
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).
Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar signed the crucial instrument of accession to MTCR in the presence of France’s Ambassador-designate Alexandre Ziegler, The Netherlands’ Ambassador Alphonsus Stoelinga and Luxembourg’s Chargd’ Affaires Laure Huberty.
Since its civil nuclear deal with the US, India has been trying to get into export control regimes like NSG, MTCR, the Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement that regulate the conventional, nuclear, biological and chemicals weapons and technologies.