The British government is fuming over the U.S. Congress' apparent unwillingness to grant it a waiver on exports of military technologies.
At issue is the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations, which force Britain and Australia to wade through a weeks-long process to get military export approvals from the State Department.
The only country with such an exemption is Canada.
The United States promised five years ago to grant an ITAR waiver to the two countries, and apparently has the approval of the Bush administration. But, attempts to water it down to favor the two countries have been stymied by Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., who chairs the House International Relations Committee, the Financial Times said. Among other issues, Hyde said he has concerns over Britain's refusal to strengthen its own laws on transferring military technologies to third countries.
British officials said the issue has taken on more urgency as U.S. military technology has become more sophisticated, making it difficult for British troops to operate on the same battlefield, UPI reports.
The aircraft to command and control troops in the event of a nuclear war is being built on the basis of the new wide-body Ilyushin Il-96-400M