India has joined an elite missile tech group known as the Missile Technology Control Regime, or MTCR. This membership makes India part an of an exclusive group of countries that control global exports in missile technology. India’s entry into the group means they will soon have access to high tech items for space and defense programs and will be able to export their own supersonic, top-of-the-line, cruise missiles known as BrahMos.
The MTCR is a group that aims to restrict the proliferation of missiles, and any associated technology, for systems capable of carrying a 500 kilogram payload at least 300 kilometers and any systems intended for the delivery of weapons of mass destruction. Several countries are represented in the MTCR including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States to name a few.
Entrance into the MTCR will allow India to easily collaborate with these countries to purchase high-end missile technology that can then be applied to their own projects. India already boasts ownership of the “world’s fastest” supersonic missiles, named BrahMos, and hopes to further improve these missiles with new technology.
Watch BraMos missiles being launched from an Indian frigate in the video below:
Indian officials hope that entrance into the MTCR will also make exporting BrahMos possible. The Indian governement has already launched plans for a joint venture with Russia that will allow them to work together and sell the weapons to third-party countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Chile, South Africa and Vietnam. If this joint venture is successful it will mark the first time in history that India serves as a significant arms dealer.
India hoped to join the MTCR earlier but was delayed by at least a year. The motion to give India full membership was blocked by Italy in 2015 due to a dispute over murder charges levied against Italian Marine Salvatore Girone.