Iranian attack drone included parts made by two Texas companies

Iranian attack drone included parts made by two Texas companies

The aftermath of a Russian drone strike in the early morning hours of December 19, 2022, in Kiev, Ukraine. Photo: Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Parts made by Austin semiconductor maker NXP and other U.S. and Western companies were found inside an Iranian-made drone that Russia used to attack Ukraine last fall, CNN first reported Wednesday.

The takeaway: The White House created a task force last month to investigate how the technology, which included American and Western semiconductors, GPS modules and even engines, ended up on Iranian drones.

A Ukrainian intelligence assessment obtained by CNN showed that of the 52 components the Ukrainians removed from the drone, 40 appear to have been manufactured by 13 different US companies.

Why it matters: The intelligence assessment is further proof that despite sanctions, Iran is still finding an abundance of commercially available technology, CNN reported.

Zoom in: The drone included parts from two Texas companies — a microprocessor from NXP, a Dutch company with US headquarters in Austin, and nearly two dozen parts built by Dallas-based Texas Instruments, including microcontrollers, voltage regulators and controllers. digital signal.

What they’re saying: The companies condemned the misuse of their technology.

Jacey Zuniga, spokesperson for NXP USA, said in a statement that the company “complies with all applicable export control restrictions and sanctions imposed by the countries in which we operate. Military applications are not an area of ​​focus for NXP. As a company , we are strongly opposed to our products being used to violate human rights.” “TI is not selling any products in Russia, Belarus or Iran,” Texas Instruments said in a statement. “TI complies with applicable laws and regulations in the countries where we operate and partners with law enforcement organizations as necessary and appropriate. Additionally, we do not support or condone the use of our products in applications for which are not created.”

The intrigue: TI is known for its calculators, but the company has built more semiconductor plants in Texas and Utah.

Flashback: NXP has expanded rapidly in Austin in recent years, but the Austin ISD school board rejected a tax abatement last month for the company’s proposed multibillion-dollar expansion in east Austin.

In May, NXP filed two incentive applications, revealing a plan to invest billions in one of its two Austin campuses: a 153-acre site in southwest Austin or a 78-acre site in east Austin. NXP applied for state Chapter 313 incentives, which allow businesses to cap property value for a portion of school taxes for 10 years and are estimated to generate $62 million more for the district.

The bottom line: It’s hard to control parts on the global market, and Iran and Russia will try to avoid sanctions, experts told CNN.

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