Leaked secret documents from Russian companies have revealed new schemes for the Russian Defense Ministry to purchase advanced electronics from the West. Ukrainian hackers have published correspondence from Russian companies involved in the production of equipment for the Russian Defense Ministry, including the Special Technology Center, which produces drones for the Russian army.
During our analysis of the documentation and emails, we observed that the Russians themselves had compiled an intriguing list of Western electronics manufacturers whose products were imported to Russia. Furthermore, Moscow showed a particular interest in the products of the American company KeySight Technologies, in addition to the companies previously mentioned in journalistic investigations (Rohde & Schwarz).
According to the documents, Russian firms involved in supplying the Russian defense ministry’s orders have signed contracts for deliveries of electronics and other parts produced by KeySight. Russian companies “Radioline” (radiorf.ru) and “Professionalnoe oborudovanie i tekhnologiyi” (www.protehnology.ru) were expected to perform these shipments. It is unknown if KeySight Technologies was aware that its production ends up in the hands of manufacturers connected to Russia’s war machine.
The Russians purchased US-made electronic calibration modules, cable and antenna analyzers, network analyzers, signal analyzers, signal generators, and more.
- P5005A Keysight Streamline USB Vector Network Analyzer, 26.5 GHz. Compact, faceless USB vector network analyzer (VNA). Flexible two-port VNA, which dramatically reduces the size of the test. https://www.keysight.com/gb/en/product/P5005A/streamline-usb-vector-network-analyzer-26-5-ghz-2-ports.html
- N9917B FieldFox Handheld Microwave Analyzer, 18 GHz. A lightweight, durable cable and antenna analyzer, spectrum analyzer, and network analyzer. https://www.keysight.com/gb/en/product/N9917B/fieldfox-b-handheld-microwave-analyzer-18-ghz.html
- N4691D Electronic Calibration Module (ECal), 26.5 GHz, 3.5 mm, 2-port. Precise and accurate measurements with a 2-port module for 3.5-mm connectors. https://www.keysight.com/gb/en/product/N4691D/electronic-calibration-module-ecal-26-5-ghz-3-5-mm-2-port.html
- N9021B MXA Signal Analyzer, 10 Hz to 50 GHz. The optimum choice in wireless for 5G and other new-generation devices. https://www.keysight.com/gb/en/product/N9021B/n9021b-mxa-signal-analyzer-multi-touch-10-hz-50-ghz.html
- N5173B EXG X-Series Microwave Analog Signal Generator, 9 kHz to 40 GHz. It offers 9 kHz to 40 GHz frequency coverage and is the cost-effective choice when you need to balance budget and performance. https://www.keysight.com/gb/en/product/N5173B/exg-x-series-microwave-analog-signal-generator-9-khz-40-ghz.html
- BV0007B PathWave BenchVue Power Meters/Sensors App. Easy power meter and sensor control and simplified automation https://www.keysight.com/gb/en/product/BV0007B/pathwave-benchvue-power-meters-sensors-app.html
Keysight Technologies, or Keysight, is an American company that manufactures electronics test and measurement equipment and software. The company is headquartered in Santa Rosa, California. Its global revenue in 2022 was reported to be as high as $5.42 billion.
Keysight’s products include hardware and software for benchtop, modular, and field instruments, oscilloscopes, logic analyzers, signal generators, spectrum analyzers, vector network analyzers, optical power meters, electro-optic converters, and optical modulation analyzers. It mainly serves the telecommunications, aerospace/defense, and semiconductor industries.
Keysight has declared its corporate social responsibility vision, which aims at “building a better planet by accelerating innovation” and employing a business framework of “environmentally sustainable and socially responsible operations.”
However, in current conditions, it would be very useful to add responsibility to prevent their products from getting into the hands of dictatorships and be used in their military industry to fuel their wars of aggression. After, the risk will always be there, as KeySight’s products directly serves aerospace/defense industry.
Companies associated with the defense industry and whose products can be used to manufacture or maintain weapons are required to have high corporate responsibility. Especially if it has already been revealed that these parts are purchased by Putin’s belligerent regime, which is waging an aggressive war in Ukraine, killing thousands of innocent civilians.
On the other hand, the governments of Western countries, including the United States, have a responsibility to prevent the supply of products from their countries to criminal regimes. The adoption of the latest sanctions packages in December 2023 minimizes the possibility of circumventing sanctions.
All companies that supply Russians with products that could serve military purposes should face punishment. The oversight of the sale of modern electronics and dual-use products and the enforcement of sanctions should be strengthened.
Ultimately, only full enforcement of sanctions and the closure of Moscow’s schemes to circumvent them will guarantee the necessary pressure on the Russian economy to force it to abandon its war operation against Ukraine and to deplete its arms production.
Without sanctions enforcement, efforts to provide military support to Ukraine will have much less effect. And maintaining arms production in Russia means bringing the war closer to the EU’s borders and encouraging the Kremlin to commit new aggressions, possibly against European and NATO countries. Making efforts and taking measures to stop the supply of dual-use goods to Russia is more cost-efficient than the costs that would be required if the war were to expand.