International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)
are a set of regulations which implement the Arms Export Control Act (AECA). ITAR gives the President the authority to control the import and export of defense articles, services, and knowledge. The President then delegates this authority to the State Department (Executive Order 11958, as amended) which administers ITAR through the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC). The ITAR is contained in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), specifically 22 CFR Chapter I, Subchapter M, Parts 120-130. Part 121 of the ITAR is a list of items covered by the regulations which is called the United States Munitions List (USML). Additionally there has been an “amendment” to the USML in the form of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MCTR) which is an informal and voluntary partnership between 34 countries (of which the US is a member) to control missile and unmanned aerial vehicle technology.
Unmanned Vehicle Systems (UVS) are simplistically divided into three categories based on their primary arena of operation – land, sea, or air. Additionally they can be thought of in terms of the level of human control needed to operate these vehicles from a remote operated vehicle (ROV)/remote control vehicle (RCV) to a completely autonomous vehicle.
Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV) are covered primarily in “Category VII –Ground Vehicles” of the United States Munitions List (USML). Some examples of UGVs are the SARGE, The Warrior, The Talon, Swards Robot, SWMET, ASSCM, and the Taifiun.
Unmanned Water Vehicles (UWV) by definition §121.14(a) referring to Category XX and §121.15(a) referring to Category VI of the United States Munitions List (USML) are defined as manned and unmanned submersible, semi-submersible, and [water] surface vessels of war. These vehicles are covered by their respective areas. The method of operation is especially important for underwater vehicles due to the difficulty of transmitting a signal long distances in water. Unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) which are human controlled are called remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs) and fully automated ones are autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV). Some examples of UWV are the Bluefin, Blackghost, and Pluto Plus.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) have non-standardized names and are also known as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), or commonly referred to as drones. Historically remote control by a human pilot has been the principle form of operation, but increasingly autonomous UAVs are being employed. UAVs are covered principally by Category VIII –“Aircraft and Related Articles” but are mentioned in many other Categories of the United States Munitions List (USML) and included in the Missile Technology Control Regime Annex (MTCR). Some examples of UAVs in various weight and altitude classes are the Predator, Global Hawk, Altair, Eagle Eye, Dragon Eye, Silver Fox, Raven, Scan Eagle, and Shadow.