Technology Transfer

Technology Transfer is the process by which the U.S. Army determines what systems, components, technical data and technology are releasable and exportable to a particular country.

The U.S. Army supports allies and friendly nations with their self-defense needs and enables their participation in coalition operations while protecting our sensitive technologies. These protections range from a policy of denial (i.e., blocking certain systems from export), to releasing systems with differential capability (some performance characteristics changed), to releasing the same system the U.S. Army uses to accomplish that mission.

DASA (DE&C) is responsible for reviewing all U.S. Army technology requested for export.
  Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army soldiers practice operating a BGM-71 Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wireless-guided Weapon System during a Subject Matter Expert Exchange with U.S. Army Soldiers from  the North Carolina Army National Guard, coordinated by Military Engagement Team-Jordan. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Elvis Sierra)

  An OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter, part of an Excess Defense Articles grant, is unloaded May 16 at the Greek port city of Volos. (Courtesy photo)

How is Technology Transfer Controlled?

Technology is controlled through a process of reviews and evaluations that determine the risk of technology proliferation, the potential impact to soldiers should this technology be widely distributed and the relationship between the U.S. and a particular nation.

Various offices and organizations in the U.S. Army are involved in technology transfer decisions including the HQDA G-2 (Intelligence); the Assistant Secretary of the Army (for Acquisitions, Logistics, and Technology (ASA(ALT)); and U.S. Army Program Managers (PMs).

The DASA (DE&C) Technology Transfer (Tech Transfer) team reviews technology for both Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) requests to determine if that technology is releasable and coordinates with the 13 technology transfer/foreign disclosure (TSFD) owners to obtain release authorizations.

Technology Security and Foreign Disclosure Office (TSFDO)

The TSFDO serves as the Defense Department’s single point-of-contact for all technology transfer matters that involve advanced and sensitive technologies that fall within the auspices of the 13 TSFD pipes. The U.S. Army is not the release authority for systems that involve these TSFD technologies; DASA (DE&C) links PMs and contractors with U.S. Army liaisons to the U.S. Defense Department organizations empowered to authorize release determinations.

Authority for Military Technology Transfer

The Arms Export Control Act (AECA) of 1976 gives the U.S. President the authority to control the import and export of defense articles and defense services. These presidential authorities are delegated to the Secretaries of Defense, State and Commerce. The AECA directs the creation of the United States Munitions List (USML) which identifies defense articles and is administered through the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), managed by the U.S. State Department. The ITAR establishes the rules by which USML controlled technologies may be exported – Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and Direct Commercial Sales (DCS).

Authority for Technology Transfer Dual-Use Technology

The Export Control Reform Act (ECRA) of 2018 established the permanent authority for the Export Administration Regulation (EAR) and the Commercial Control List (CCL). The CCL controls dual-use technology (those which can be used in military or commercial systems). Technology controlled on the CCL may require a license from the Department of Commerce.
​Direct Commercial Sales

For Army-specific technologies, DASA (DE&C) coordinates with the various U.S. Army, Defense Department and interagency entities to develop a unified position that reflects the inputs from all stakeholders. These export decisions are case-by-case and must comply with all policies for the technology involved in the system.
Certain U.S. Army systems, technical data and technology may be sold by U.S. companies and brokers who may initiate sales of certain systems to foreign nations. This requires U.S. companies involved in the manufacture, marketing and sales of U.S. Army systems first receive approval from the U.S. Departments of State or Commerce. These approvals -- referred to as licenses, exemptions and exceptions -- authorize these companies to make sales and exports within the authority granted them in the documentation.

To export Commerce Control List (CCL) controlled technology, a company may need an export license from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

U.S. companies apply to the U.S. State Department to request authorization to export United States Munitions List (USML) controlled technology.

The State Department and the Commerce Department staffs licenses for military and dual-use equipment to the Defense Technology Security Administration (DTSA) for review and comment. DASA (DE&C) reviews all licenses staffed to the U.S. Army by DTSA to ensure all licenses protect the equities of the U.S. Army.  Development of Army’s position is accomplished by reviewing relevant Army and Defense Department policies and regulations and by consulting with PMs who are subject-matter experts for these systems and technologies.