Ken Handelman: State Dept. to Review Unmanned System Export Rules

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Department of the statesThe U.S. State Department will undertake a study that could bring changes to export regulations for unmanned aerial vehicles, Defense News reported Monday.

Aaron Mehta writes that Ken Handelman, deputy assistant secretary of state for deputy trade controls, said the agency plans to look at a 1987 treaty designed to regulate the means of delivering nuclear weapons.

Handelman spoke during a recent panel discussion on export controls at the Farnborough International Airshow.

“The Missile Technology Control Regime [MTCR], which remains a hugely important tool [for] nonproliferation policy with our allies, sometimes has unintended consequences,” Handelman told forum audience.

“So yes, that is part of the consideration, but more than that I am unable to say right now,” he added, according to Defense News.

Mehta writes the MTCR agreement, signed by 34 countries, enforces a presumption of denial policy regarding the sale of UAVs that can carry a 500-kilogram payload to a range of 300 kilometers.

Industry believes the restriction is hurting U.S. manufacturers’ ability to compete on the international unmanned systems market, according to Mehta.

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