Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) - A Brief Overview

The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) is a multilateral export control regime whose members have an informal political understanding to limit the proliferation of missiles and missile technology. India became a member of the MTCR in 2016. In this article, you can read all about the MTCR for the civil services exam.

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The Missile Technology Control Regime was started in 1987 by the G-7 industrialized countries namely, the USA, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and Italy. It was started to check the proliferation of unmanned delivery systems for nuclear weapons (particularly systems that could carry a payload of 500 kg to a range of 300 km).

There are a total of 35 members of the Missile Technology Regime (MTCR). India is one of its members. Given below is the list of countries that are a member of this Regime, along with the year of their association with MTCR:

MTCR Members
Argentina (1993) Australia (1990) Austria (1991) Belgium (1990)
Bulgaria (2004) Brazil (1995) Canada (1987) Czech Republic (1998)
Denmark (1990) Finland (1991) France (1987) Germany (1987)
Greece (1992) Hungary (1993) Iceland (1993) India (2016)
Ireland (1992) Italy (1987) Japan (1987) Luxembourg (1990)
Netherlands (1990) New Zealand (1991) Norway (1990) Poland (1998)
Portugal (1992) Republic of Korea (2001) Russian Federation (1995) South Africa (1995)
Spain (1990) Sweden (1991) Switzerland (1992) Turkey (1997)
Ukraine (1998) United Kingdom (1987) United States of America (1987)

Candidates preparing for the upcoming UPSC 2023 exam must study this topic well and along with this must visit the below mentioned International bodies that are responsible for the transfer and export of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, dual-use equipment and technology:

  1. Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)
  2. Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)
  3. Australia Group
  4. Wassenaar Arrangement 

MTCR Objectives

  1. It is not a legally binding treaty on the members. It is only an informal political understanding.
  2. Currently, there are 35 members in the regime including India. China is not a member of the regime.
  3. Every member is supposed to establish national export control policies for ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, space launch vehicles, drones, remotely piloted vehicles, sounding rockets, and underlying components and technologies.
  4. Every member should look into the following five factors while deciding on a possible export of controlled items:
    1. Whether the intended recipient is pursuing or has ambitions for acquiring weapons of mass destruction;
    2. The capabilities and purposes of the intended recipient’s space and missile programs;
    3. The potential contribution the transfer could make to the recipient’s development of delivery systems for weapons of mass destruction;
    4. The credibility of the recipient’s stated purpose for the purchase; and
    5. If the potential transfer conflicts with any multilateral treaty.

MTCR and India

India applied for a membership to the MTCR in June 2015. India was supported by the USA and France in its application. Given below are the benefits of the Missile Technology Control Regime:

  1. India’s space program will get a fillip as ISRO will now have access to restricted high-end technologies for developing its cryogenic engines.
  2. India’s arms exports will be enhanced as now, India can export BrahMos to Vietnam and other nations.
  3. This will help India procure Israel’s Arrow II missile, which will help develop India’s ballistic missile system.
  4. India can buy surveillance drones from the US.
  5. This will be a boost to the ‘Make in India’ program.

Frequently Asked Questions about Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)


What is the Missile Technology Control Regime?

The Missile Technology Control Regime is a multilateral export control regime. It is an informal political understanding among 35 member states that seek to limit the proliferation of missiles and missile technology.

What was the aim of the MTCR?

Established in April 1987, the voluntary Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) aims to limit the spread of ballistic missiles and other unmanned delivery systems that could be used for chemical, biological, and nuclear attacks..

For details regarding other Government exams, candidates can visit the linked article.

Related Links:

UPSC FAQ Non Proliferation Treaty  Current Affairs
Nuclear Arms Control India’s Nuclear Doctrine Essay UPSC Syllabus


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