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State Department Looks to Trim Restrictions on ‘Sensitive’ Drone, 5G Technologies

The State Department has announced a plan to relax rules on the sale of some key technologies used on drones and 5G telecommunications devices, which the government currently considers as potential risks, or sensitive, to national security, Defense One reported.

The agency said it will remove some restrictions on the distribution of advanced Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuits chips, which provide higher data rates for mobile phones, sensors and other Internet-of-Things devices. 

Under the plan, MMICs would be removed from the Defense Department’s strictly regulated U.S. Munitions List and would be transferred to the Commerce Department’s less stringent Commerce Control List. 

An unnamed State official said such advanced chips “use quite a bit less power than the ones we use in the military arena” for radar and other applications.” 

Meanwhile, the State Department is also considering relaxing rules on the sale of unmanned vehicles with anti-collision radar. 

The planned changes would mainly allow manufacturers to sell “hunter-killer drones” that can detect and disable other autonomous aerial systems. 

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