Will US loosen export restrictions on UAV sales?

The Pacific Rim might see a significant increase in nations flying U.S.-built unmanned aerial vehicles for maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions as a result of efforts by manufacturers to redesign their aircraft to fall under less restrictive export controls and a possible willingness by the Obama administration to allow sales to select nations in that region, reports Eddie Walsh at AOL Defense.
 
U.S. manufacturers of such systems have found it difficult to sell their UAVs overseas because they are blocked from doing so the by Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) Category I export control restrictions that have discouraged sales of highly advanced technology abroad. To counter this, the manufacturers are redesigning their existing military platforms to fall under the less restrictive MTCR Category II.
 
If the Obama administration is willing to allow sales of unarmed, ISR-only UAVs abroad, General Atomics would likely market its Predator B to Pacific Rim nations such as Australia, Japan and South Korea that require UAVs with multi-mode maritime radar.

Defense Systems Update

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