A Russian drone manufacturer tried to buy parts in Quebec

A Russian drone manufacturer tried to buy parts in Quebec

A Quebec telecommunications company targeted by an arms supplier in Russia assures that it has not sold any of its products to that company.

The company Special Technology Center (STC), which supplies the Russian army with expensive Orlan drones, tried to obtain electronic parts manufactured by two Quebec companies in order to circumvent international sanctions, according to information obtained by the English-Speaking Radio network emerges. Canada (CBC).

The name of one of these two companies, EXFO, which specializes in telecommunications, is at the top of the list of potential suppliers targeted by STC. In particular, the drone manufacturer would have tried to acquire a “multi-service test module”, a product usually intended for data and telecommunications centers.

Interviewed by Le Journal, the Quebec company said it was “surprised” by the information reported by the CBC and said the targeting technology was already “outdated and no longer available” and could not be used in a drone.

“We do not sell anything in Russia and this company is not a customer,” it said in a written statement.

“EXFO complies with applicable export control regulations, including sanctions against Russia. We have systems, processes and teams in place to ensure this,” EXFO also noted.

However, EXFO is not the only Quebec company on the list of potential STC suppliers. Vaudreuil-Dorion-based power cable manufacturer Aimtec was also targeted. As of this writing, Aimtec has not responded to the Journal's inquiries.

The Orlan-10 drone, manufactured by the STC company, is considered one of the most important military assets of the Russian army. In particular, this device makes it possible to jam the mobile network of enemy troops and collect geolocation data, for example for missile attacks.

Russia's efforts to circumvent international sanctions over the war in Ukraine are no secret.

Earlier this month, a Quebec man of Russian origin admitted planning to supply equipment to the Russian army and pleaded guilty in a United States court. For this reason, she and her partner were arrested a few months ago.

According to American investigators, the electronic components sent to Russia by the couple were used by the Russian army in rockets, tanks, drones and helicopters, among others.

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