The resilience of the Russian defense industry today is one of the great unknowns likely to affect the development of the Ukraine conflict. Although there is very little data on the subject, the French journal includes in its June issue whirl, specializing in Luftwaffe, gives some answers. Especially in terms of the impact on the Russian aerospace industry.
Since the beginning of the war, the Russian Air Force has not had complete control over the Ukrainian skies, mostly for tactical reasons and because of the solidity of Kyiv’s anti-aircraft defense system. But according to the authors of whirl, Gwenvaël Coulombel, Lieutenant Malcolm Pinel and Colonel Xavier Rival“Western sanctions are already having an effect” about the Russian aerospace industry, both civil and military. In their opinion, this could have a long-term impact on the operational capabilities of the VKS, the Russian Aerospace Forces.
Lack of electronic components
The factory that manufactured Buk anti-aircraft systems such as SA-19 Grison (2K22 Tungouska) and SA-11/17/27 in Ulyanovsk in central Russia therefore stopped its production and hired part of its employees due to technical unemployment after the Discontinuation of the delivery of electronic systems made in Germany. Russia has also had to delay the arrival of its new surveillance and command plane, the Beriev A-100, because of sanctions affecting the supply of critical electronic components.
Although, as most experts believe, the resources and adaptability of the Russian defense industry far exceed those of Ukraine, these supply problems also affect precision munitions and guided bombs. The armaments sector is not spared either. Production of T-90 tanks and T-14 Armata, the latest generations of Russian army tanks, was also hampered by the lack of components.
“Some workaround strategies are likely possible”the authors warn whirl, who see China as possible support. The United States has also begun to make its mark on this point in recent weeks, notably by deciding on June 29 to blacklist six Chinese companies, including distributors of microelectronic components. The US Department of Commerce believed these companies were trying to support Russia’s war effort in Ukraine. A first vis-à-vis Chinese companies since the conflict began.
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