Title: "The Missile Technology Control Regime." Fact sheet released by the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency summarizing the history, content and effects of the Missile
Technology Control Regime (MTCR), an important global arms control treaty. (941118)
Translated Title: Regimen de control de la tecnologia de misiles. (941118)
THE MISSILE TECHNOLOGY CONTROL REGIME (Text: Arms Control and Disarmament Agency fact sheet) (680) (The U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency recently issued the following fact sheet entitled "The 1987 Missile Technology Control Regime.")
The cornerstone of U.S. missile nonproliferation policy is the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). The MTCR was formed in 1987 by the United States with our G-7 economic partners (Canada, the former West Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom). Today, membership totals 25 nations. In addition to a growing membership, the number of countries unilaterally observing -- or "adhering to" -- the Guidelines is increasing.
The aim of the MTCR is to restrict the proliferation of missiles, unmanned air vehicles, and related technology for those systems capable of carrying a 500 kilogram payload at least 300 kilometers, as well as systems intended for the delivery of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
The MTCR considers "missiles" to include: ballistic missiles, space launch vehicles (SLVs) and sounding rockets. Unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) include: cruise missiles, drones, UAVs, and remotely piloted vehicles (RPVs).
The MTCR was originally concerned only with nuclear capable delivery systems. Since the 1991 Persian Gulf War, it has broadened its scope to cover missiles capable of delivering all weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, chemical and biological).
The MTCR is neither a treaty nor an international agreement but is a voluntary arrangement among countries which share a common interest in arresting missile proliferation. The Regime consists of common export guidelines applied to a common list of controlled items. Each member implements its commitments in the context of its own national export laws.
Items controlled are listed in the MTCR's Equipment and Technology Annex, which groups technology into two categories. Category I consists of whole missiles or complete subsystems usable in a Category I system. Transfer of Category I items requires a case-by-case review process with a strong presumption of denial. Transfer of specially designed production facilities for these systems are flatly prohibited.
Category II items cover a wide range of dual-use technologies. Transfer of these items is permitted as long as they are not destined for end-use in Category I systems.
The MTCR Guidelines specifically state that the Regime is "not designed to impede national space programs or international cooperation in such programs as long as such programs could not contribute to delivery systems for weapons of mass destruction." The United States maintains a strict interpretation of this statement. Despite some differences of opinion with regard to commercial space applications, all Partners agree that the technology used in an SLV is virtually identical to that used in a ballistic missile, which poses genuine potential for missile proliferation.
The worldwide missile proliferation picture is mixed: both the United States and its MTCR Partners have had some success in slowing proliferation, but missile development and technology transfers continue. Russia and Ukraine have signed missile bilateral agreements with the United States, and Hungary became the first country in Eastern Europe to join the MTCR. In South America, Argentina's Condor missile program has been terminated, leading to their membership in the MTCR in December 1993. On October 4, 1994, the United States and South Africa signed a bilateral missile-related export-import agreement as well as an accompanying joint statement on steps South Africa will take to terminate its Category I missile program. The bilateral agreement commits South Africa to abide by the Guidelines of the MTCR.
On the other hand, missile proliferation in South Asia continues, although MTCR controls have impeded its progress. States in the Middle East continue their pursuit of missile systems. North Korea remains a rogue supplier of missiles and technology. In an effort to stem this activity, the United States also uses unilateral missile trade sanctions as political leverage against non-MTCR countries who make transfers in violation of MTCR standards.
(The current MTCR members are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.)