Although the 1994 treaty modifications have toned down some of the most direct mandatory technology transfer requirements, the treaty still places at risk some very sensitive, and militarily useful, technology which may readily be misused by the navies of ocean mining states. These include: underwater mapping and bathymetry systems, reflection and refraction seismology, magnetic detection technology, optical imaging, remotely operated vehicles, submersible vehicles, deep salvage technology, active and passive military acoustic systems, classified bathymetric and geophysical data, and undersea robots and manipulators.
The military application of these technologies would provide new anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities, strategic deep-sea salvage abilities, and deep-water bastions for launching sub-surface ballistic missiles (SSBM's). With or without the mandatory technology transfer provisions contained in the UNCLOS, U.S. participation would provide a "legal" conduit and cover to justify the acquisition of state- of-the-art deep ocean devices and technology that have profound national security implications. Ocean mining activities by the Enterprise or third world nations, such as China or India, can provide plausible justification for successfully purchasing technologies that, in the absence of ocean mining, would likely be denied on national security grounds.