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DefensePentagon experts visit Ukraine to study captured Russian equipment

Pentagon experts visit Ukraine to study captured Russian equipment

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American experts have found that advanced Russian weapons and communications systems were built on Western chips, the supply of which has been cut by more than 90 percent.

Representatives of the Pentagon in May 2022, at the invitation of the authorities, visited Ukraine, where they studied captured Russian military equipment for a week. American experts have found that almost all the advanced equipment that is used in Russian weapons includes parts from companies located in the United States and the European Union. The New York Times writes about it.

Researchers invited by the SBU for an independent analysis of Russian equipment found that ammunition and equipment, including missile guidance systems and laser rangefinders, contain microchips, printed circuit boards, motors, antennas, etc. manufactured in the United States and EU countries.

Damien Spleeters, a researcher at Conflict Armament Research, which specializes in the identification and tracking of weapons and ammunition, concluded that advanced Russian weapons and communications systems were built on Western chips. He added that Russian companies have had access to an uninterrupted supply of Western technology for decades.

However, Western anti-Russian sanctions have limited Russia’s ability to produce high-tech weapons to replace those destroyed during the war in Ukraine. Since the West announced sweeping restrictions on the export of semiconductors, computers, lasers, telecommunications equipment and other goods in February, the Russian defense industry has struggled to obtain microchips to restock precision-guided munitions.

What did the Pentagon experts investigate?

During their trip to Kyiv, Spleeters and his colleague unscrewed three buildings that housed modern encrypted Azart radio stations that provide secure communication channels for Russian troops.

They found that the first two walkie-talkies contained microchips with their manufacturing markings carefully erased, apparently in an attempt to disguise their origin. But inside the third walkie-talkie was an identical chip that was made by a company based in the US.

The expert said it is not clear who changed the markings and when the chips were delivered to Russia. But the attempt to hide their origin, he said, was deliberate.

US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, answering a question about the lack of chips for Russian weapons, said “definitely yes.”

“U.S. exports to Russia in categories that we have export controls on, including semiconductors, have fallen by more than 90 percent since February 24. It’s just a disaster,” she said.

Economist Matthew Klein, who tracks the impact of export controls, said Russian imports of manufactured goods from nine major countries fell 51% in April from the average from September 2021 to February 2022.

According to him, the bombing of tank factories and shipyards is now irrelevant.

“Democracies can replicate the effects of bombing with the right set of sanctions, precisely because the Russian armed forces are dependent on imported equipment,” Klein said.

Earlier it was reported that Russia was forced to use computer chips from refrigerators and dishwashers in military equipment, as imports of American technology decreased by 70% due to sanctions.

Photo: Cruise missile internal computer circuit board

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