Western technologies in Russian fighter jets - NAKO analysis

13:26, 19.06.2024

On 13 June, Kyiv hosted a presentation of the analytical report  "Wings of War: Analysis of Western Components in Russian Fighter Jets" by the Independent Anti-Corruption Commission (NAKO) was presented in Kyiv. The event was moderated by Hanna Hopko, Co-founder of the International Centre for Ukrainian Victory and Chair of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Foreign Affairs. Speakers included Agiya Zagrebelska (NACP), Vladyslav Vlasiuk (Presidential Office), Olena Tregub (NAKO) and Olena Bilousova (KSE).  

According to the research, Russian military aircraft, including MiG-311, Su-27SM3, Su-30SM, Su-34, Su-35S and Su-57, contain more than 2,000 foreign components.  

According to NAKO, 64 per cent of the components are made by US companies, highlighting the critical dependence of Russia's military-industrial complex (MIC) on Western technology. 

Denys Hutyk, Advisor to the Economic Security Council of Ukraine (ESCU), highlighted the critical dependence of the Russian military-industrial complex on imports of computer numerical control (CNC) machines, which are used, among other things, to produce Russian fighter jets. He noted that Russia has no domestic production of such equipment and is completely dependent on supplies from China, which in turn still has access to technology and components from Germany, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries.   

Despite numerous sanctions, Russia continues to receive Western machine tools through front companies, long supply chains and China. Chinese manufacturers supply Russia with both Western-branded machine tools manufactured in Chinese factories and their own machine tools containing Western components.  

Participants in the presentation called for increased pressure on machine tool and component manufacturers, as well as the introduction of strict corporate compliance to limit Russia's access to critical technologies. It is a positive signal that banks from different countries, including Chinese banks, have already started to refuse to cooperate with Russia due to the risk of secondary sanctions. This experience should be scaled up.