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17 Apr 2023

Kristina Partsinevelos, CNBC

Majority of components in weapons used by Russian army in Ukraine produced by Western firms, two reports show; incl. cos. comments

Photo: Canva

The chip industry’s open secret: Adversaries’ military tech relies on U.S. components, 17 April 2023

Key components from more than a dozen Western countries have been found in the military equipment used by Russian forces in Ukraine, according to research from the British academic journal Royal United Services Institute. A separate report from independent research group Conflict Armament Research analyzed the components of four Iranian-made drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles, used by Russia in Ukraine and found the vast majority of the technological devices originated from U.S. companies...

“For Russian systems, I think we have a little bit more than 50% of components that bear the brands of U.S.-based entities,” said Damien Spleeters, deputy director of operations for CAR. “For Iranian systems, it is more than 80%”...

About 70% of the 450 components that RUSI examined from more than 27 different weapons systems, platforms, radios and equipment were manufactured by U.S. companies...

All seven of the U.S. chipmakers CNBC contacted for comment condemned the unauthorized diversion of their products to countries like Russia and Iran.

A spokesperson for AMD said the company would take “immediate measures per our contract terms” if any of its products were found to be sold to these countries or regions.

Onsemi called export-control violations a “material breach” and said they “may lead to the termination of our contractual relationship with business partners.”

Texas Instruments said it does not “support or condone” the use of its products “in applications for which they weren’t designed.”

A spokesperson for Intel said, “We do not always know nor can we control what products our customers create or the applications end-users may develop,” but stressed the chipmaker “does not support or tolerate our products being used to violate human rights.”

Analog Devices said it takes the unintended misuse of its products “very seriously” and is strengthening efforts to counter these issues by “implementing enhanced monitoring and audit processes and taking enforcement action where appropriate.”

Microchip Technology said it uses “various methods including screening customers against restricted party lists” to help prevent the illegal use of its products.

And Infineon said it has directed global distribution partners to “prevent deliveries and to implement measures that will prevent any diversion of Infineon products or services contrary to the sanctions,” adding that it has reiterated this position “several times”...