UK defense firm built parts of Russian weapon used on Ukrainian battlefields


A UK defense and aerospace company manufactured components found in a Russian weapons system, the Sunday Mail can reveal.

TT Electronics parts have been recovered from hardware being used by Putin’s army on the battlefield in Ukraine.

The firm has admitted making “historic sales” of “commercial components” to Russia, but insists it was given “end-user” assurances they would not be used in military applications.

The Department for International Trade launched an investigation into British-made devices being used in Ukraine last week.

It came as a Royal United Services Institute (Rusi) think-tank report claimed to have found a “consistent pattern” of dependence on foreign components.

One of the components made by TT Electronics and found in Russian weapons systems

We used identifying codes found on transistors detailed in the study to link them to Woking-headquartered multinational TT Electronics.

The global firm, which specializes in defence, aerospace and medical electronics, is headed by £1.5million-a-year chief executive Richard Tyson.

A spokesman said: “TT Electronics acts in compliance with all export control laws and regulations and operates a detailed export control compliance programme.

“The components referenced in the Rusi report are commercial components and neither classified as military nor dual use components under UK export control regulations.

“For historical sales of these commercial components to Russian entities, end-user certificates were obtained to confirm that such sales were not for any military purpose.

“Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, TT Electronics has adopted a total prohibition on all sales to any Russian entities.”

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The firm’s high-frequency transistors were found in a Russian Borisoglebsk-2 jamming system recovered from Ukraine. The vehicle is described as an “electronic warfare system” designed to disrupt and block GPS signals and communications.

There have been reports that NATO is worried F-35 fighters may not stand up against Russian equipment like the Borisoglebsk 2.

A UK Government spokesman said: “We have introduced the largest and most severe economic sanctions that Russia has ever faced to help cripple Putin’s war machine, including by sanctioning key defense sector organizations and banning the export of critical technologies.

“The UK has one of the most robust and transparent export control regimes in the world.

“We take all credible allegations of breaches of export control seriously, and we will take further action if appropriate.”

The UK introduced an arms embargo against Russia in 2014 after its illegal annexation of Crimea – although there were reports that some export licenses were still being issued.

Ministers also banned the direct export to Russia of dual-use components, which have a civilian or military use, at the start of March after the invasion of Ukraine.

The Rusi report did not say when the components were exported and there is no suggestion of wrongdoing by the manufacturers.

It said that western economic sanctions meant Moscow would become increasingly reliant on component-smuggling to ensure its jets, missiles and other hi-tech munitions can function.

It added: “Although Russian weapons are full of western-manufactured components, it is not clear the companies manufacturing them knew that the Russian military was the end-user.

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“Many components are dual-use technologies. Meanwhile, Russia has established mechanisms for laundering these items through third countries.

“Restricting access, therefore, likely means preventing export to countries such as India of goods that are in some instances used for civilian purposes.

“There are myriad companies based around the world, including in the Czech Republic, Serbia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, India and China who will take considerable risks to meet Russian supply requirements.”

Meanwhile we can reveal the Scottish Government has given £6.3million to companies linked to the arms industry in 2021-22.

Weapons manufacturer Raytheon, which employs 700 people in Glenrothes and Livingston, was awarded £600,000 by grants agency Scottish Enterprise.

In January a precision-guided missile made by the firm and fired by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, hit a detention center in Sa’adah, killing 80.

Boeing was given £2.1million, Thales £1.1million, Rosyth Royal Dockyard £1.9million, Chemring Energetics £1500, and Spirit AeroSystems £561,153.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We and our enterprise and skills agencies do not provide funding for the manufacture of munitions.

“Support for defense sector companies is primarily focused on helping firms to diversify their activities and technologies, ensuring Scotland continues to benefit from significant economic returns and thousands of jobs in the sector.

“Our enterprise agencies have appropriate safeguards in place to ensure that any funding provided is used only for the specific purpose intended and that human rights due diligence checks are central to the application process.”

The SNP website insists its policy is to urge the UK Government to immediately halt all military support and arms sales to regimes suspected of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.

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A Scottish Enterprise spokesperson said: “The aerospace, defense and
shipbuilding companies we work with employ tens of thousands of people across Scotland.

“Our aim is to help make their Scottish operations as economically sustainable as possible and support continued diversification of their product lines with a view to sustaining and growing employment.

“Our support for companies in these sectors is focused on specific projects undertaken at their Scottish sites.

“Decisions to assist companies are based on the economic potential of proposed projects, all of which are delivered in line with the economic and social impacts legally agreed.

“Scottish Enterprise’s funding does not support the development or manufacture of munitions.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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