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Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): Manufacturing Trends


Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) represent a bright spot for the technology-intensive aerospace manufacturing sector, but military and civil government agencies will likely be the predominant customers for an extended period while such systems are integrated into the U.S. National Airspace System ("national airspace"). Airspace access by commercial UAS users is projected to be much slower than for governmental entities. U.S. export control policies pose an issue for manufacturers that seek to export UAS. Some UAS are classified as weapons under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), and require an export license approved by the U.S. State Department. UAS are also covered by the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), a voluntary arrangement among 34 member countries to restrict the proliferation of missiles or UAS capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction. Under MTCR guidelines, export of UAS carries a "strong presumption of denial" of an export license. The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) has stated that advances in UAS technologies have resulted in the development of some systems that are not suited to weapons-ofmass- destruction (WMD) delivery. The association says the regulations will allow nonmember countries (such as Israel or China) to sell UAS with advanced capabilities.


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