Russia has a limited number of hypersonic weapons remaining due to a scarcity of microchips brought on by global sanctions, according to a report by POLITICO.
Nearly seven months into the war in Ukraine, Moscow has fewer than 50 hypersonic missiles, according to Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.
Microchips are a key component of hypersonic missiles, providing improved attack precision and accuracy to the weapon.
“Because of sanctions imposed on Russia, the deliveries of this high-tech microchip equipment have stopped, and they have no way of replenishing these stocks,” Shmyhal said.
Most microchips and semiconductors are manufactured in the US and its allies Taiwan, Japan, the Netherlands, and the UK.
Ukraine has issued a warning that Russia is preparing a “shopping list” for military technologies that could bolster its combat capabilities and change the course of the war.
Despite the sanctions imposed on Russia, Ukraine could still face a major problem if China and its allies decide to help Moscow.
Beijing could produce or import military technologies and sell them on to Russia to aid in its war efforts.
Experts and analysts say the transfer of technology to unwanted parties cannot be stopped entirely by existing export control systems.
“Once chips have left the factory, it’s very hard to know for sure where they end up,” Flemish Peace Institute senior researcher Diederik Cops explained.
However, the US Commerce Department explained that the transfer of technologies from China to Russia has not been proven.
Sanctions ‘Biting’ Arms Industry
Earlier this year, a US defense official claimed that international sanctions — particularly on electronic components — are “biting” into Russia’s arms industry.
Moscow is reportedly struggling to resupply its troops with needed weapons and equipment against Kyiv’s forces.
“There has been an effect on Putin’s ability to restock and resupply, particularly in the realm of components to some of his systems and his precision-guided munitions,” another senior US defense official told The War Zone.
“They’ve already faced an issue in terms of replenishing their inventory because of components to some of those systems.”