A new report says Russia uses a supply of older electronic components including microchips to keep its military industry afloat.
According to a recently published article presenting the results of a joint investigation between Reuters and the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), the global supply chain has not entirely ceased its operations in connection with the Russian Federation. Instead, some companies have modified their activities to adapt to new conditions.
This investigation identified multiple importers and exporters operating within the “grey zone”. Most of the semiconductors, electronic modules, and other technology shipments continue to flow to Russia from several trading hubs, including Hong Kong and Turkey.
Three-decade-old microchip on Iskander
To illustrate the overall situation, Defense Express presents a case of the 9M728 Iskander missile shot down by the Ukrainian air defense systems. Inside, experts found a digital signal processing microchip from the American company Texas Instruments produced in 1988.
Apparently, overcoming the existing strict sanctions is not easy, and the export of modern components is controlled very strictly. But opting for older models makes restrictions somewhat easier to bypass.
On the Russian side, a number of dummy companies are being constantly re-registered using non-existent addresses and fake owner names. It is difficult to track the origin or affiliations of such ventures. Furthermore, many electronic products from the older generations are considered obsolete by most customers, and even controlling institutions may classify them as “useless”.
But a well-made microchip does its job well – even if it was designed a few decades ago. Their processing power is sufficient to control missile flight control and targeting systems, and their footprint is small enough to fit on nearly any projectile.