Member of Leibniz Association

Simone Wisotzki


Challenges for arms control and non-proliferation (in German)


Approximately 40 attacks with 25 plane crashes and more than 600 dead persons have so far been conducted with so called MANPADS (man-portable air defense systems). Those portable anti aircraft weapons belong to the category of  small arms and light weapons, but for the international aviation they have become an increasing threat. Especially in the hands of terrorists they are not only dangerous for military planes during their assignments in areas of conflict, but also for passenger planes.


This dangerous situation raises the question about which measures have so far been taken in support of international aviation safety. Simone Wisotzki investigates whether the classical measures concerning non-proliferation and arms control can avoid, that terrorists acquire MANPADS in the first place. In addition she gives recommendations about how to store such weapons safely and how to deal with fragile countries, because, as a rule, terror groups managed to equip themselves with MANPADS in civil war situations. 


It will however be important for the control of MANPADS in the future, that countries register their transfers as well as their own inventory with the UN register of arms and that they refrain from business dealings with countries that are suspected to pass weapons on to non-state actors. Additionally, in the framework of long-term programs for development cooperation, there should be an attempt to link sustainable development and extensive security.

Bibliographic Data

Simone Wisotzki, MANPADS - Herausforderungen für die Rüstungskontrolle und Nichtverbreitung, HSFK-Report Nr. 12/2007, Frankfurt/M.


// HSFK-Report Nr. 12/2007

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