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Some 450 foreign-made microelectronic components identified in Russian weapons recovered in Ukraine – RUSI

Infographics: RUSI.org
Some 450 foreign-made microelectronic components identified in Russian weapons recovered in Ukraine – RUSI

The British-based Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) defense think tank and its partners examined Russian weapons recovered in Ukraine, and found “at least 450 unique microelectronic components inside these systems that were produced by companies based in the US, Europe, and East Asia.” Of the 450 foreign-made components, “317 appear to have been made by US companies.”

The examined armaments included 27 Russian weapons systems – including cruise missiles, communications systems, and electronic warfare complexes – and pieces of military equipment lost or expended after the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion last February, RUSI says.

“The preponderance of foreign-made components inside these systems reveals that Russia’s war machine is heavily reliant on imports of sophisticated microelectronics to operate effectively. This is despite persistent efforts by the Russian government to replace imports – in all aspects of its economy, including the military sector – with domestically produced materials in order to withstand international sanctions,” according to RUSI.

The researchers say that Russia doesn’t have an alternative for the production of analogous components domestically, so the country may have to “either design or produce less capable replacements, or engage in sanctions evasion activities to acquire the necessary components.”

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