Microchips From The US Found In Captured Russian Weapons

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  • Ukrainian specialists also found five U.S.-made chips – manufactured by AMD, Rochester Electronics, Texas Instruments, and Linear Technology – in the direction-finder of a Pantsir air defence system.
  • Stefanie Cuene, head of public relations for Onsemi, said that her company’s chip “is a commodity, not military grade and available anywhere on the open market.”
  • “While we cannot comment on the topic specifically, Infineon has implemented appropriate measures to ensure compliance with the sanctions.”

According to component lists given with The War Zone by Ukraine intelligence, as Ukrainian forces began dismantling various pieces of captured or partially damaged Russian military equipment, they discovered a heavy reliance on Western microchips, particularly those developed in the United States as reported by The Drive. 

Western microchips

The chips in question were found inside a recovered example of the 9S932-1, a radar-equipped air defence command post vehicle that is part of the larger Barnaul-T system, a Pantsir air defence system, a Ka-52 “Alligator” attack helicopter, and a Kh-101 (AS-23A Kodiak) cruise missile.

The component list offers some of the most detailed information to date about the extent to which the Russians are getting critical microchips, semiconductors and other components.

The items on those lists raise serious questions about Russia’s ability to produce the technological components its war machine relies on upon and the ability of countries like the U.S. to keep those technologies secure, an expert tells The War Zone.

In the Barnaul-T air defence command post vehicle, for example, Ukraine intelligence said its specialists found eight microchips from U.S. manufacturers like Intel, Micrel, Micron Technology and Atmel Corp. in its communications systems.

Ukrainian specialists also found five U.S.-made chips – manufactured by AMD, Rochester Electronics, Texas Instruments, and Linear Technology – in the direction-finder of a Pantsir air defence system.

Manufacturers subsumed

There were at least 35 U.S.-made chips found in the Kh-101 cruise missile, including those manufactured by Texas Instruments, and Atmel Corp. Rochester Electronics, Cypress Semiconductor, Maxim Integrated, XILINX, Infineon Technologies, Intel, Onsemi, and Micron Technology.

When they opened up the turreted electro-optical system of the Ka-52 Alligator, Ukraine specialists found 22 U.S.-made chips and one Korean-made chip.

In fact, some of the manufacturers were previously subsumed by other companies.

IDT, for example, was purchased by the Japanese firm Renesas in 2019.

Atmel Corp. was also purchased by Microchip Technology, in 2016.

Origin of microchips

The origin of the microchips found in these Russian weapons is unclear.

These chips would not necessarily have to have been sourced directly from the manufacturers.

Also, there is a massive and largely unregulated market for recycled chips, largely emanating from China, and many of them appear to be quite old.

Ukraine intelligence officials who provided the component list also could not say where the chips originated.

And, he said, this highlights and offers the need for “a clear path to stopping Russian weapons success without being there”, and “a crash domestic program to stop the shipments of technology” from U.S. allies Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, collectively known as the “Five Eyes.”

Abuses of human rights

While Raimondo testified that Ukraine said Russians have been using appliance parts in its tanks, that is not likely the case in the more sensitive systems laid out by Ukraine intelligence, Parish said.

Most said they no longer do business with Russia.

Many said they either don’t know or can’t control where their chips wind up.

After the beginning of the war in Ukraine, he said, “we have stopped all direct and indirect shipments to Russia, Belarus and the respective Russian-backed regions in Ukraine.”

Infineon Technologies, Rodehüser said, has not yet “found any evidence of military use of our products in Russia.”

“Where we become aware of a concern that Intel products are being used by a business partner in connection with abuses of human rights, we will restrict or cease business with the third party until and unless we have high confidence that Intel’s products are not being used to violate human rights.”

Russian military equipment

Intel, said Bruce, “has suspended all shipments to customers in both Russia and Belarus.”

Analog Devices “is committed to full compliance with U.S, EU and other countries’ laws including export controls, trade sanctions and regulations,” said Ferda Millan, a company spokeswoman.

“We did a search in our parts database and were not able to find a match to the part number you provided,” said Jeff Cronin, a company spokesman.

The issue of foreign components winding up in Russian military equipment despite sanctions has come up before.

Those, however, apparently did not prove foolproof.

We will let you know what they say if they do respond.

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Source: The Drive

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