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By Arie Egozi
The world is changing fast and defense technologies and the rules that are meant to control them are also very flexible.
This fact is portrayed among other things by the change in acronyms.
The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) should be changed to something like “The Long-Range Platform Technology Control Regime” or LRPTCR. The acronym is not important. What is important is the adaptation of the reality to many kinds of control efforts.
The aim of the MTCR is to restrict the proliferation of missiles, complete long-range rocket systems, unmanned air vehicles, and related technology for those systems capable of carrying a 500 kg payload to a range of 300 kilometers, as well as systems intended for the delivery of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
In recent years, the original MTCR treaty has been updated by an annex, but this will have to change again.
Unmanned air vehicles, or in their most recent name unmanned air vehicle (UAS), are changing the reality that led to the original MTCR.
In Israel but not only, officials are discussing the ways in which the MTCR in its wider version may and might affect the export of Israeli-developed UAVs.
It is already obvious that with some large, long-endurance UAVs the Israeli ministry of defense will have to get approval for every export deal from Washington. And based on past experience, when Israel planned to export “strategic” systems the US administration made angry voices and sometimes became even aggressive.
Israel has not officially joined the MTCR but because of its “special relations” with the US, it adheres to its limitations
The issue was brought to the defense ministry discussion table due to the development of some very large UASs with long endurance and long range.
One is the Dominator-2 developed by Aeronautics, based on the Diamond DA-42 twin engine aircraft, and the Israel aerospace industries (IAI) Heron TP.
The fast progress of the technologies is simply forcing the updating of the control regime, and Israel as a UAS “Super Power” accelerates the process.
A recent example to the pace of reality – Israel aerospace industries (IAI) has recently developed a special export version of its Heron-TP MALE UAV that adheres to the latest version of the MTCR limitations.