"Modernizing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Export Policy for Effective Coalition Forces,"
By Heather R. Penney, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies
If it weren't for the Missile Technology Control Regime, a 1987 international agreement the United States adheres to, the nation's unmanned aerial vehicle manufacturers could be doing a lot more business overseas, this 31-page Mitchell Institute policy paper points out.
Senior Resident Fellow Heather R. Penney says the categorization of drones that can fly long ranges as a de facto cruise missile is just plain wrong: they are aircraft, not rockets, she argues.
Meanwhile, China, which has not signed the agreement, continues to sell long-range robotic aircraft to U.S. partners and allies.
That is not only a loss of business, it fractures important partnerships, blunts warfighting capability and capacity and raises operations security risks, she writes.
Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are among the partners procuring long-endurance Chinese-made...