Russian weapons recovered from Ukraine relied on Western components

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Russian weapons recovered from Ukraine relied on Western components

More than 450 foreign-made components have been found in Russian weapons recovered in Ukraine, evidence that Moscow acquired critical technology from companies in the United States, Europe, and Asia in the years before the invasion, according to a report by the Royal United Services Institute defence think tank.

Since the beginning of the war five months ago, the Ukrainian military has recovered or partially damaged Russian weapons from the battlefield. The research shared with Reuters found that 27 of these weapons and military systems, ranging from cruise missiles to air defence systems, were found to rely predominantly on Western components when disassembled.

It is the most detailed published assessment of the part played by Western components in Russia's war against Ukraine.

About two-thirds of the components were manufactured by US-based companies, according to RUSI, based on the weapons recovered from Ukraine. About a quarter of the Western components in the weapons were manufactured by the US-based Analog Devices and Texas Instruments.

Other components came from companies in countries like Japan, South Korea, Britain, Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.

Jack Watling, a land warfare specialist at RUSI, told Reuters that Russian weapons that are critically dependent on Western electronics have resulted in the deaths of thousands of Ukrainians.

While many of the foreign components are found in everyday household goods such as microwaves that are not subject to export controls, RUSI said a strengthening of export restrictions and enforcement could make it harder for Russia to replenish its arsenal of weapons such as cruise missiles.

In one case, a Russian 9 M 727 cruise missile, one of the country's most advanced weapons that can manoeuvre at low altitude to evade radar and can strike targets hundreds of miles away, contained 31 foreign components. The parts were made by companies that included US-based Texas Instruments Inc. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc., as well as Cypress Semiconductor, which is now owned by Infineon AG, a German company, according to the RUSI investigation.

A Russian Kh-101 cruise missile, which has been used to strike Ukrainian cities, including the capital Kyiv, also had 31 foreign components with parts manufactured by companies such as the US-based Intel Corporation and AMD-owned Xilinx.