Russia wages electronic warfare ‘using UK-made tech’, Ukraine dossier claims | Russia

Many of the countries that have sanctioned Russia over the war in Ukraine need to take urgent action to disrupt the supply of technology for its electronic warfare campaign, according to a new report.

The dossier compiled by Ukraine and circulated to the major countries which have imposed sanctions identifies key Russian firms involved in the development and production of electronic military equipment. It says the UK and other countries have not yet sanctioned some of the firms involved.

It identifies what it claims is technology made by British firms in some of the advanced electronic equipment involved in the conflict, and says more effective action is required to block the use of foreign components.

The report states: “The effectiveness of Russian electronic systems largely depends on access to imported components that are widely used in the production of such systems … Specific steps should be taken immediately to reduce the Russian military-industrial complex’s capability.”

Senior military commanders in Ukraine are concerned at recent advances by Russia in the electronic warfare battle. In a recent article in the EconomistValery Zaluzhny, commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, wrote: “[Electronic warfare] is the key to victory in the drone war.

“Russia modernized its [electronic warfare] forces over the past decade, creating a new branch of its army and building 60 new types of equipment. It outdoes us in this area: 65% of our jamming platforms at the start of the war were produced in Soviet times.”

The new Ukrainian report says that, in addition to jamming equipment, electronic intelligence systems can detect drone launches and predict possible military action. Specialized radar equipment can be used to track drones.

Eight key Russian firms are involved in the production of electronic warfare, the report says. They include the entities Strela Research and Production Association, Protek Research and Development Enterprise and Radioelectronic Technologies Concern, which it says has not been sanctioned by the UK.

It also names components from British firms which it says have been found in Russian electronic warfare. The companies involved say they have ceased all trading with Russia.

According to the report, transistors from Semelab Ltd, which has its registered office in Woking, Surrey, and is owned by TT Electronic Group Holdings, were found in equipment to block radio-controlled devices and communications on the battlefield. Power supply equipment from XP Power, which has its HQ in Singapore and is listed on the London Stock Exchange, was found in mobile short-range radar. And parts allegedly manufactured by Golledge Electronics, based in Ilminster, Somerset, were found in a direction-finding system.

A spokesperson for TT Electronics said: “Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, TT Electronics has adopted a total prohibition on all sales to any Russian entities. Due to the nature of international supply chains, once a product is sold it may then be sold on many times prior to its end-use. Such onward sales and end-use are not within the manufacturer’s control.

“TT Electronics acts in compliance with all export control laws and regulations and operates a detailed export control compliance program.” The relevant components cited in the report are not designed for military use.

XP Power said it had a small distributor in Russia which it ceased trading with in 2022. It said the parts identified in the report were manufactured by a partner and supplied before the Ukraine invasion.

The company said: “XP has done no business in Russia since February 2022 and operates in full compliance with the sanctions.”

Golledge Electronics said it stopped all business with its Russian distributor in February 2022. It said it had not supplied any components to the Russian distributor since 2021, and since 2016 every shipment was subject to clearance by the UK government. The firm said it was unlikely the components identified in the report were genuine since the marked code number “does not tally with any Golledge product”.

The report says sanctions should be imposed on the Russian firms identified. It also proposes a “unified database of components” identifying the technology which the Russian military is using in its electronic warfare equipment.

Officials at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office say they have prohibited the exports and supply to Russia of thousands of products, banning all items found on the battlefield. The UK recently acted to disrupt a covert procurement network used by Russia to acquire critical western technology.