Tag Archives: MTCR

Spaceplanes, Hypersonic Platforms and the Missile Technology Control Regime

Author: Venkatasubbiah Siddhartha

To read the complete report click here

To cite: Venkatasubbiah Siddhartha. Spaceplanes, Hypersonic Platforms and the Missile Technology Control Regime, ISSSP Report No. 08-2017. Bangalore: International Strategic and Security Studies Programme, National Institute of Advanced Studies, December 2017, available at http://isssp.in/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/ISSSP-Report.pdf

In Space launch systems, there is — besides the well-known manned Space Shuttle of the United States – the ongoing development in the US, as also in India, of reusable unmanned space vehicles.  The orbital-delivery components of these vehicles are designed to re-enter the atmosphere at hypersonic speeds, and to survive that re-entry, intact, for refurbishment and re-use. The technologies that enable such survival can be utilised for the development of hypersonic boost-glide platforms for ordnance-delivery. Such enabling technologies are characterised as being ‘dual-usable’.

Besides the United States, Russia and China, other nations possessing the applicable enabling technologies are also experimenting with, or evaluating, hypersonic boost-glide platforms for precision-delivery of military ordnance – conventional or potentially nuclear. 

India and other co-members of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), adopt a common approach to controlling the export from their territories of specified classes of missiles, and of missile-usable systems and technologies, so as to slow or stymie the development of missiles and Unmanned Ariel Vehicles (UAVs) by those countries which have to import critical technologies for the development of their own missiles or UAVs.  

India shares missile non-proliferation objectives and responsibilities with other members of the MTCR. It is in India’s foreign policy and geo-strategic interests to propose extension of MTCR to control over international trade in re-usable Space launch systems and their enabling dual-usable technologies.  Specifically, India may propose to co-members inclusion of new entries in the MTCR Annex as detailed in the concluding section.


About the Authors

Venkatasubbiah Siddhartha is Adjunct Faculty, International Strategic and Security Studies Programme, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru. For correspondence please contact E-mail: scatopsa@gmail.com


India’s entry into the NSG: A Long-winded Process

Indian Foreign Affairs Journal, Vol. 11, No. 3, July-Sept 2016. pp. 217-223.

Arun Vishwanathan, Assistant Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies

ifaj-july-sept-2016India’s relationship with the above multilateral export control regimes has witnessed a remarkable turnaround in recent years. From being the rationale behind the establishment of the NSG and the MTCR, India has joined the MTCR as a member, and its application for membership into the NSG is under discussion amongst the group’s members. One of the drivers for this transformation has been the growing strategic partnership between the USA and India which, among other things, has resulted in the liberalisation of American export control regulations with respect to India. The extent of the policy shift towards India becomes apparent from the fact that, post 2009, only 0.3 percent of US exports to India require export licence from the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). This is a substantial reduction from the close to 25 percent of US exports which required export licences in the year 2000.

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India and Nuclear Suppliers Group

Chennai Centre for China Studies, June 27, 2016

LV Krishnan, Adjunct Faculty, ISSSP, NIAS

c3s logo-newWith four meetings in 20 months and the last within two months, Modi and Obama had to find some long unfinished items and a few innocuousness for the meeting in June 2016. For India, NSG entry is a promise Obama made to India some six years ago and naturally the choice fell on it.

The story of NSG is linked to NPT that entered into force in 1970. The Treaty is more about concern that nuclear weapons could spread beyond the original five than about nuclear disarmament. It only asks members not to export to Non-Nuclear Weapon States (NNWS) that are outside NPT (a) source material, meaning uranium and special fissionable material and other equipment and (b) especially designed or processed equipment for production of special fissionable material,without insisting on IAEA safeguards.

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