Espreso. Global

Achilles heel of Russia's military might: Western CNCs

26 December, 2023 Tuesday
14:25

Russia's devastating attacks, including civilian casualties, trace back to high-tech weapons built using Western-made CNC machine tools. Despite sanctions, Russia relies heavily on these imported tools for its military production, revealing a vulnerability in the West's efforts to curb their aggression

Euromaidan Press writes about it.

In recent incidents, such as the Iskander missile strike in Hroza and the tragic deaths of volunteers, the common thread is the use of precision weapons manufactured with Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine tools imported from the West. These tools, vital for producing advanced military hardware, constitute a strategic weakness for Russia.

Over 70% of Russia's CNC machine tools are imported, primarily from the US, EU, and Japan. More than 80% of these CNCs find their way into Russia's military production facilities. A recent roadmap by the Economic Security Council of Ukraine (ESCU) suggests targeting CNC imports to weaken Russia's military capabilities.

CNC machines are automated robots that use software to produce metal parts without direct human involvement. They play a pivotal role in manufacturing advanced weaponry, including missiles, aircraft, and radar systems.

Every Russian tank, plane, APC, and even nuclear weapons incorporate parts made with foreign CNC machine tools. Russia relies on Western-made CNCs, and attempts to substitute them have proven difficult.

Top CNC producers supplying Russia include DMG Mori, Trumpf, Fair Friend Group, Haas, and others. Despite sanctions, companies like Haas, Niles-Simmons, and DMG Mori have been implicated in indirectly supplying the Russian arms industry.

The West can significantly hamper Russia's military capabilities by restricting the import of CNC machine tools. China and Germany are major contributors, with Germany supplying at least $242 million worth of tools to Russia.

Blocking CNC exports to Russia

Effective sanctions are crucial to weaken Russia's war machine. While Russia's oil revenue has surged, its military spending is set to reach record levels. In the first half of 2023, despite controls, Russia imported nearly $800 million of critical battlefield technology.

To disrupt Russia's weapon production, the West should:

  • Include all CNC machine tools and spare parts under export controls.
  • Regularly target and sanction companies aiding evasion.
  • Introduce stringent checks on clients and enforce Know-Your-Customer practices for CNC producers.
  • Install GPS trackers on CNC machines, stop servicing those in Russia, and cut software updates.

These recommendations, shared with US Congress and law enforcement, have spurred action. Over 20 US congressmen urge a CNC machinery focus on sanctions, and the EU is contemplating its inclusion.

By restricting Russia's access to these manufacturing tools, the West can cost-effectively diminish Moscow's military production, tilting the odds against Russia in its ongoing war with Ukraine.
 

Tags:
Read also:
  • News
2024, Friday
1 March
19:20
Exclusive
Navalny's murder might motivate resistance, radicalise protests in Russia — sociologist Eidman
18:57
NATO: Putin's threats to use nuclear weapons is psychological intimidation
18:35
Russian missiles attacks Donetsk region, injuring civilians, damaging police station, hospital, kindergartens
18:14
Ukraine, Netherlands sign security agreement: what does it provide for?
17:50
Exclusive
Map of fighting in Marinka sector
Under heavy fire: Ukrainian officer on situation in Marinka sector
17:25
Frozen Russian assets won't replace US aid to Ukraine - Treasury Secretary Yellen
17:00
Exclusive
Why Scholz is hesitant to transfer Taurus to Ukraine?
16:40
Russian troops bomb residential buildings in Zaporizhzhia region, killing civilian man
16:20
Exclusive
Measuring temperature in chamber: diplomat on China's special envoy's trip to number of countries
16:00
Russia holds significant ammunition advantage, increases artillery shelling in Avdiivka direction
15:40
OPINION
Transnistria: Where there is a trace of Russia, there is war
15:25
Russia makes "powerful breakthrough" to Chasiv Yar to open way to 3 more localities - Khortytsia group of troops
15:07
British intelligence assesses level and prospects of Russian military industry
14:40
Exclusive
Red lines are blurring: military expert Zgurets on possible deployment of NATO troops to Ukraine
14:20
Transition to F-16 not swift, but Ukraine making every effort – Air Force
14:00
Ukraine's Intelligence attacks Russian Pantsir-S1 air defense system in Belgorod region
13:40
Umerov approves action plan to implement cooperation program with NATO for 2024
13:20
OPINION
Putin's message: whom was the dictator addressing?
13:00
Russian pilots feel they are in the sights — Ukraine's Air Force Spokesman Ihnat 
12:40
OSCE launches "Moscow mechanism" to document Russian war crimes
12:25
IL-76 crash: Russia says it's willing to return bodies to Ukraine; Ukraine responds
12:05
Britain urges Germany to send Taurus missiles to Ukraine - Bloomberg
11:45
Japan extends sanctions against Russian companies and individuals
11:27
Review
Does CIA have any bases in Ukraine and what was the purpose of its director's visit? Serhiy Zgurets's column
11:05
Polish farmers fail to provide evidence of Ukrainian grain returning from Lithuania to Poland 
10:47
Updated
Russian media claim attempted UAV attack on defense plant in Nizhny Novgorod region
10:30
No one in Europe is going to send troops to Ukraine - Czech Prime Minister
10:15
Russia loses 3 aircraft, 36 artillery systems and 920 troops in Ukraine overnight — General Staff
09:55
Russia transports its agricultural goods through Belarus to Poland — UP
09:35
Exclusive
Ukrainian forces transform Synkivka into graveyard for Russian equipment — Kupyansk Military Administration
2024, Thursday
29 February
22:10
OPINION
Putin's messages of war: Vitaliy Portnikov's column
21:57
Review
Victorious news on 736th day of war: Ukrainian forces down 3 Russian aircraft, target Russian soldiers in Bakhmut sector
21:40
Russia attacks 22 times in Avdiivka, Novopavlivka directions in one day — General Staff
21:25
Ukrainian army engaged in fierce fighting with Russia's forces in Avdiivka, Kurakhove sectors  - Syrskyi
21:10
Russian forces focus on Avdiivka direction - Ukrainian commander
20:55
Ukrainian Armed Forces adopt 46 new types of weapons since start of year — Defense Ministry
20:40
156,000 km² of Ukraine's territory is mined: State Emergency Service tells how to speed up demining
20:21
"One of the dumbest things I've ever heard": what impressed Carlson most in Putin interview 
19:59
Ukrainian Miss Europe representative complains about Russian harassment during contest
19:37
Updated
No hearse agrees to take his body - Navalny's supporters on funeral challenges
More news