Russian Defense Manufacturer Buying Semiconductor And Chips From China And America Bypassing Sanctions

Ukrainian technician examine a 9M544 Smerch missiles rocket component retrieved from a blast side. Photo Ukrainian MoD

The Russian military fired a volley of the 9M544 missile on Ukrainian cities in the Donetsk region, according to Ukrainian National Police officials.

The National Police has released photos showing the wreckage of Russian modern 9M544 guided missiles that were found in the Donetsk region in Donbas.

The 9M544 is the precision-strike version of Tornado-S rockets with the guidance and control 9B706 unit. This unit is transforming an unguided 300 mm rocket round into a guided munition.

Russian 9M544 Smerch missiles use custom chips sold by AliExpress. The 9M544 Smerch is a 300mm rocket used by multiple launch rocket systems [MLRS] Tornado-S. This missile is designed to hit armored vehicles.

A used 300mm 9M544 Smerch rocket was investigated by the Center for Advanced Defense Studies [C4ADS]. The team at this center works on discovered imported components used in Russian weapons. I.e. looking for signs of violation of sanctions against Russia. This thinks tank-type center is located in Washington DC, USA.

American-made micro chips used in Russian Rocket.

C4ADS found in the 9M544 Smerch rocket the following elements in the control unit of an already used rocket: microcontrollers in a TSOP66 package; SMD capacitors; SMA and DB15 connectors; microcontrollers in an LQF64 package. All these components are intended for use in civil and household appliances. They do not meet military standards. Russia can buy such components from AliExpress, bypassing Western sanctions.

American chips in Kh-101 missile

The use of non-Russian microcircuits and chips in the navigation units of Russian missiles is not new. In May, wrote that 35 US-made chips were found in the Kh-101 cruise missile. This discovery did not come from C4ADS, but from Ukrainian intelligence, which examined an already used missile on the ground.


The chips found in the Russian Kh-101 missile were manufactured by Texas Instruments, Atmel Corp. Rochester Electronics, Cypress Semiconductor, Maxim Integrated, XILINX, Infineon Technologies, Intel, Onsemi, and Micron Technology. A complete list of used American microchips has been sent to the Pentagon.

Russia bought Chips and components from AliExpress and Amazon.

Russia consumes roughly 0.1%, or about $500 million worth of semiconductors a year from South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, America and China.

The industry has broadly downplayed the impact of the global sanctions that choke off Russia’s access to semiconductors. In some ways, that’s valid: Out of an overall global chip market of roughly $550 billion, Russia consumes about 0.1%, or about $500 million worth of semiconductors a year.

The same amount [35] of chips was found in the radar equipment of the Russian army 9S932-1 – command post. Russia has integrated similar radar equipment into two air defense systems and two types of helicopters. I.e. in just two weapons systems, Russia uses 70 US-made chips.

300mm 9M544 Smerch rocket

The 300mm 9M544 Smerch rocket has been in the US for analysis in recent weeks. At the end of June, reported that Russia had started using it. At least two missiles were documented in use in the Donbas region.

The 9M544 missile is part of the 9M54 missile family. The 9M54 series missiles are satellite-guided warheads loaded with HE-Fragmentation charge. These missiles have similar characteristics or complementary characteristics. The 9M54 missiles weigh approximately 820 kg and their warhead alone weighs about 250 kg. The minimum range is 40 km and the maximum is 120 km, although the 9M544 missile tested in 2020 reached a range of 200 km.

This series of missiles are a surface-to-surface type. The missile is designed to destroy manpower, unarmored and lightly armored vehicles, destroy command posts, communication centers, and sites of the military-industrial structure.

Tornado-S Rocket

The Tornado-S is one of the latest Russian artillery weapons systems. The 9B706 uses the CH398M strapdown inertial navigation system (SINS), which receives data from angular velocity and linear acceleration sensors. Russia has imported compact navigation system from American Honeywell.

The Tornado-S is the maximum powerful and customary lengthy-variety multiple rocket launcher within the international. This model is aimed at replacing the preceding technology of Russian a couple of rocket launchers, along with BM-21 Grad, BM-27 Uragan and BM-30 Smerch.

Tornado-S intact guidance system

The Tornado-S machine is primarily based on the chassis of the MZKT-79306 8×8 military truck, which gives proper tactical mobility. it is equipped with a 300mm Upgraded BM-30 Smerch multiple Rocket Launcher Modules, which could fireplace all cutting-edge Smerch rockets, together with HE-FRAG, incendiary, thermobaric, cluster with anti-personnel or anti-tank mines.

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