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RFE/RL Schemes investigation reveals over 2,000 foreign-made parts used in Russian Sukhoi fighter jets

by Dmytro Basmat April 18, 2024 1:20 AM 1 min read
Illustrative purposes only: Sukhoi Su-35S aircraft perform during the 76th anniversary of Victory Day in the Red Square in Moscow, Russia on May 9, 2021. (Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's investigation project Schemes revealed on April 17 that over 2,000 foreign-made electronic components are allegedly contained in Russian Sukhoi (Su-type) fighter jets, primarily originating from Japan and the United States.

According to RFE/RL, in collaboration with the Independent Commission Against Corruption, Ukrainian intelligence sources provided a list of foreign-made parts contained in Russian Su-27SM3, Su-30SM, Su-34, Su-35S, and Su-57 fighter jets.

Despite extensive Western sanctions aimed at cutting off supply lines, Russia continues to obtain sanctioned goods, such as microchips, via third-party countries, fueling its war machine.

According to the investigation, intermediary suppliers located in Hungary, Cyprus, Turkey, China, and Russia were allegedly involved in the distribution of Western electronic components to Russian factories.

The investigation also notes that Russian-based distributors, linked to Russia's military-industrial complex have evaded being subject to sanctions.

The foreign-made components are allegedly located in the nose and the middle section of the aircraft, and are primarily the basis of "navigation and missile guidance systems, electronic warfare means, and communication between aircraft and control points."

Russian Su-type aircraft are actively used to attack Ukraine and routinely fire guided missiles and aerial bombs and civilian and critical infrastructure.

Kyiv's allies have sought to halt the Kremlin's ability to circumvent their sanctions. One of the EU's latest sanctions package included a ban for third-country entities to re-export sensitive goods to Russia.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said last month that an estimated total of 1,500 foreign-made components were used in Russian missile attacks on Kyiv.


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