Russians continue to make UAVs using Western tech from Intel, Raspberry, and other companies

Ukrainian soldiers has captured a Russian UAV of non-serial production. The photos published by DS8044 Kyiv show that the Russians continue to use Western tech components from American manufacturers, such as Intel and Taoglas.

Western tech in Russian UAVs
Image: DС8044 Kyiv
  • Back in June 2022, it became known that various types of Russian weapons use chips and elements from a dozen American companies, including Intel, Analog Devices, Texas Instruments, and Onsemi.
  • At the time, FBI and Commerce Department agents examined American tech companies to find out the origin of computer chips found in drones and other weapons that Russia is using in the war against Ukraine.
  • However, judging by the photos of a custom drone captured by Ukrainian defenders as of May 2023, the situation has practically not changed, and the Russians continue to use Western technologies for the war in Ukraine.
Western tech in Russian UAVs
Image: DС8044 Kyiv
  • The photos show a product of the American company Intel — Neural Compute Stick 2, which, according to the manufacturer’s description, allows you to “deploy a computer vision system (for example, a gesture recognition system on drones or industrial robots), as well as artificial intelligence systems on various prototypes and IoT devices.”
  • In addition, the Russians use the GP.1575.15.4.B.02 GPS/GALILEO patch antenna manufactured by the American Taoglas (or its analogue from the same manufacturer) and a Raspberry Pi single-board computer developed by the British Raspberry Pi Foundation.

Why is it important?

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine started in February 2022, the United States and many allies banned all sales of microchips to Russian military buyers and sanctioned the sale of microchips to other Russian buyers in an attempt to prevent the country’s armed forces from accessing Western technology.

However, Russia has established the so-called “parallel import”, when the chips are not officially purchased by the Russian Federation itself, but by its neighbors. Thus, in the first half of 2022 alone, the export of smartphones from Kazakhstan to the Russian Federation increased by 2,100 times, microprocessors and controllers — by 121 times.

In order to really defeat Russia and prevent them from developing military technologies, the civilized world must effectively use restrictions on the supply of goods to Russia, and apply secondary sanctions, punishing those who help the aggressor country.