Paradoxical US-made components are supporting Russian artillery in Ukraine

According to Asia Times, as the United States prepares to deliver the highly mobile HIMARS artillery missile system to Ukraine in the latest attempt to bolster Kiev’s forces with advanced combat equipment, few have noticed that the system Russian artillery systems rely on electronic components and components manufactured by the United States and the West.

So, while Ukraine is receiving public support from the US and European countries for its artillery systems, Russia is also relying on thousands of Western components to ensure its systems. I was always active and opened fire on Ukrainian positions. In particular, those parts are maintaining the operation of Russia’s fleet of Orlan-10 targeting drones.

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Russia’s Orlan-10 drone, with many parts made in the US and its European allies, is key to the country’s artillery capabilities in Ukraine. (Photo: Twitter)

Cannons supplied by the West to Ukraine have a longer range than the Russian ones deployed. The US supplied Ukraine with 108 M777 155mm towed howitzers, while Canada and Australia sent a smaller number.

The M777 was recently upgraded with the GPS-guided M982 Excalibur shell. These shells have a longer range – up to 70 km – giving the Ukrainian forces a significant advantage.

Ukraine is also receiving extensive intelligence support from the United States, NATO partners and other countries, enabling it to precisely strike high-value Russian military targets.

Reports indicate that the HIMARS systems sent to Ukraine, initially as four sets for training, will be armed with the GMLRS mononuclear missile, which also has a range of up to 70 km. They have a 90kg monoblock (M31) warhead designed to take out point targets.

HIMARS can also launch longer-range missiles, but US President Joe Biden has said he does not want to move the systems that could strike deep into Russia. A major advantage of HIMARS over the M777 is that it is portable and can be “fired and withdrawn”. But so can the Russians.

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U.S. Marines exercise with a HIMARS system at a base on the island of Okinawa, Japan on June 18, 2020. (Photo: US Marine Corps)

Russia’s “answer” to the artillery systems sent by the West to Ukraine is the MSTA SM-2, a mobile 152mm artillery system mounted on a chassis taken from a Russian T-73 main battle tank. .

The shells fired from this type of artillery have a range of 30-40 km, far less than the shells being supplied to Ukraine. Recently, the Russians added a new laser-guided ammunition called Krasnopol-D, which slightly improves the range to 43 km.

There are two interesting aspects of Russia’s use of artillery compared to Ukraine. Ukraine primarily uses artillery to lure and knock down as much Russian equipment as possible, but not as an offensive combat tactic.

Meanwhile, Russia is trying to use artillery to create “cauldrons” where maximum fire can be used to dislodge Ukrainian forces from strategic locations.

Russian artillery is increasingly capable of accurate fire. The Russian MSTA armored self-propelled howitzer is now linked to the Orlan-10 drone. The drone can identify targets and provide coordinates using the precise triangulation method and can also be on standby to ensure the target has been destroyed. Some Orlan-10 drones are also equipped with laser designators.

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A Canon camera and a plastic bottle were found in a Russian Orlan-19 drone shot down by Ukrainian forces. (Photo: Asiatimes)

But it is worth noting that the Orlan-10 would not be able to fly without parts provided by the US and its allies. The Orlan-10 is a Russian-made unmanned aerial vehicle manufactured primarily with parts from the US, China, Taiwan/China, France, Japan, Sweden, Israel and other countries.

Early versions of this drone were susceptible to electronic jams, but higher-end versions also feature a thermal camera that can operate day and night and are equipped with an anti-Kometa M-VT GPS chip. interference, manufactured in Russia under Israeli license.

Earlier versions of the Orlan-10 drone also used commercial Japanese Canon cameras, specifically the 750D and 800D models. The Russians glued the settings dials on the camera so they couldn’t be easily changed. The Orlan-10 engine is also made in Japan.

Some other Western companies involved in supplying parts for Orlan-10 drones include: Lynred (France), AxisIPVideo (Sweden), Cirocomm (Taiwan/China), Ublox (Switzerland), XilinxInc (USA), AllianceMemory (USA), Sony Playstation, Saito (Japan, but engine made in China).

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Russian Orlan-10 battlefield reconnaissance drone.

The Orlan-10 has many versions and more than 1,000 units have been produced. About 50 of these drones are believed to have been shot down by Ukrainian forces, of which half were caused by “soft kill” jamming.

Russia deploys various types of drones in Ukraine, some for reconnaissance, some for electronic warfare and others in the form of attack drones, including suicide drones. .

The development of Russian drones lags behind Western and Chinese systems, and Russia lacks the industrial base for critical components. That means the country is dependent on external supplies for drones. The same is true of other Russian weapons that use imported electronics.

What is surprising is that, despite all the sanctions imposed on Russia, the high-tech optical and electronic systems Russia needs are not specifically sanctioned. Washington has neglected this extremely important source of supply for the Russian war machine.

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