Iranian drones used in recent attacks against Ukrainian cities are packed with European components, according to a secret document sent by Kiev to its Western allies that called for long-range missiles to attack production centers for the planes in Russia. and Syria.
A 47-page document handed over to G7 governments by Kiev in August claims more than 600 drone strikes on Ukrainian cities in the previous quarter. [UAV, por sus siglas en inglés] and in which there was Western technology.
According to the document, which the newspaper had access to guardian52 electronic components of the Shahed-131 aircraft were manufactured by Western companies. The number rises to 57 in the case of the Shahed-136 aircraft, with a range of 2,000 kilometers and a cruising speed of 180 kilometers per hour.
Among the identified component manufacturers are five European companies, including a Polish subsidiary of a British multinational. “Manufacturers include companies based in coalition countries [naciones que impusieron] Sanctions: United States, Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany, Canada, Japan and Poland,” the document says.
Iran has diversified its production by using a factory in Syria from which it supplies the Russian port of Novorossiysk, the document said. But drone production is moving to Yelabuga, a Tatar city in central Russia. Although Tehran continues to supply components, the Iranian government “cannot cope with Russia’s demand and the intensity of its use in Ukraine,” the document said, and is trying to “disassociate itself from arms supplies to Russia.”
Among the proposals for action that Ukraine has made to its Western allies, allegedly rejected, is to attack “missile production facilities for these unmanned aerial vehicles in Iran and Syria, as well as a possible production center in the Russian Federation.”
“The above can be carried out by the Ukrainian Defense Forces if the partners provide the necessary means of destruction,” the document says.
The text in no way suggests that the Western companies whose parts were identified inside the drones committed any crimes. “Iran’s UAV production is adapted and uses mostly commercially available components, the supply of which is poorly controlled or not controlled at all,” the document said.
According to the Ukrainian report, customs data indicate that “almost all imports into Iran come from Turkey, India, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Costa Rica.”
According to Bart Grothuis, a member of the European Parliament and the European Parliament’s subcommittee on defense and security, there was a lack of coordination between European Union (EU) spy services to stop abuses by Western components. “I think a lot of European spy services don’t even consider sanctions,” he says.
The Ukrainian government document, titled “Bombing Kills: Report on Shahed-136/131 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles,” is the most up-to-date analysis of Russia’s drone production plans and changes in tactics since September 13, 2022, the first date. The use of Shahed drones was observed in the city of Kupyansk (Kharkov region). Among other things it says the following:
- The pause in attacks, which began on November 17 and ended on December 7, “may be due to the adaptation of aircraft designed for the warmer climate of the Ukrainian winter” and it “may involve greater cooperation between Iran and Russia in production and modernization. 136/131 of Shahed”.
- Iran supplies Shahed 136/131 unmanned aerial vehicles to Russia over the Caspian Sea. From Tehran, the drones arrive at the Iranian port of Amirabad, from where they are sent to the Russian port city of Makhachkala.
- In recent months, markings on electronic components of planes used against Ukraine have been removed “possibly using a laser”. Russian forces have begun using the names Geranium-1 and Geranium-2 for the drones, which are “presumably part of an agreement between Iran and Russia to conceal Iran’s role.”
- In early July, Ukrainian forces shot down a new model of Shahed-136. Marked “Y002”, it “may be assembled at a new production facility in Russia” and has a different wing shape, which “may also indicate it is being made at a new location.”
- Iran and Russia are “already working on a new engine for the Shahed-136 that should give it more speed and autonomy.”
Many components produced by Western companies were found in the downed drones, according to a report submitted to G7 members (France, the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Italy, Canada and the European Union).
The document said Shahed found a microcontroller with built-in flash memory and a very low voltage drop regulator and inhibitor made by the Swiss company STMicroelectronics, as well as a fuel pump made in Poland by Germany’s Ti Automotive. 136. Gmbh (its parent company is the British multinational TI Fluid Systems).
In Shahed-136, they also found a network buffer controller and transistor integrated circuit manufactured by International Rectifier, a subsidiary of Germany’s Infineon Technologies AG.
British IT multinational Fluid Systems did not respond to The Guardian’s request. Its equipment is freely available in retail stores across Europe, and in other cases the company has already said it does not sell in Iran.
“We work with more than 200,000 clients and thousands of partners around the world. “We do not authorize or endorse the use of our products beyond their intended purpose,” says a Swiss STMicroelectronics representative. “We have a global trade compliance program to comply with international trade rules and regulations. We have an internal export control compliance program that includes the training and procedures necessary to ensure compliance with various export control regulations. As part of this program, we provide guidance to our sales channels to ensure that all parties in our supply chain understand their responsibilities to comply with applicable laws and regulations.”
A spokesperson at Germany’s Infineon claims that they don’t sell components to Iran and that in March 2022 they have shut down all of their operations in Russia. “Compliance with applicable laws is very important to Infineon, and we have established consistent policies and processes to comply with these laws. We train our clients, including distributors, to make sales that comply with current regulations,” he says. “It is difficult to control sales during the useful life of a product. Nevertheless, we have taken all measures within our power to ensure compliance with the sanctions against Russia, to comply not only with the letter, but also with the spirit of the sanctions.”
In Shahed-131, Ukrainian experts identified an integrated circuit and a power transistor manufactured by International Rectifier, as well as a microprocessor and a 14-channel power management integrated microprocessor manufactured by the Dutch company NXP Semiconductor.
They also found a 32-bit microcontroller, a 32-bit processor, an integrated flash memory microcontroller, and a very low voltage start-up regulator with an inhibitor manufactured by STMicroelectronics, as well as a GPS tracking chip developed by the Swiss company U. block.
“U-blox strongly condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Despite its intended use, U-blox ceased sales in Russia, Belarus, and the Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. Eurasian Economic Union (free trade zone with Russia)”, says the representative of U-blox. “Since 2002, U-blox has maintained a strict company policy that its products are not used in weapons or weapon systems, including target identification systems.”
A spokesperson for Dutch company NXP Semiconductor says they are looking for ways to prevent their technology from being misused. “We will not tolerate our products being used in Russian or Iranian weapons, or in any other way for which our products were not designed or authorized,” he says. “We continue to comply with export control and sanctions laws in the countries where we operate and do not support any business with Russia, Belarus or other sanctioned countries, including Iran.” In this regard, our team is in constant contact with regulators around the world as we continue to explore new measures to neutralize illegal chip diversion.”
Translated by Francisco de Zarate
Source: El Diario