Open search

War against Ukraine

German companies supplied ECUs for Russian military vehicles

Bosch and other Tier-1 suppliers shipped CAN-connectable ECUs (electronic control unit) to Russian companies producing military trucks and other vehicles.

Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, blamed in German TV Bosch on ECU delivery to Russian military truck manufacturers (Source: Twitter)

Trucks of the Russian army left behind in Ukraine are equipped with ECUs made in Germany by Bosch. In the German TV, Dymtro Kuleba, the Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs, said: “A few days ago, our army picked up Russian infantry vehicles - and we looked inside one of these vehicles and saw that one of the main components that powers the vehicle was actually supplied by Bosch.” This has been confirmed by the world market leading automotive supplier. According to Bosch the ECUs have not been supplied directly to the military truck manufacturer. The German company forbids in its sales contracts the usage of their products for military purposes. Paper is patient and trust is good, but verification is better (Russian idiom: Доверяй, но проверяй – Dowerjai, no prowerjai).

Verifying that CAN networks are not used in military equipment is not that easy. CAN protocol controllers and CAN transceivers can be purchased anywhere in the world. CAN-connectable ECUs and sensors can be used in civilian and military systems. However, this dual-use possibility is not an excuse. If you do not want that your CAN product is applied to military equipment you have to proof this.

As a consequence, you need to stop business with companies in a country that attacked a neighbor like Russia has done. The United Nations General Assembly has adopted the Resolution ES-11/1, which deplored Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and demanded a full withdrawal of Russian forces and reversal of its decision to recognize the self-declared People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. The paragraph 10 of this resolution confirmed the involvement of Belarus in unlawful use of force against Ukraine. The resolution was sponsored by 96 countries, and passed with 141 voting in favor, 5 against, and 35 abstentions.

Bosch, Continental, and ZF, the three German market-leading automotive suppliers, have entirely or partly stopped production and sales in Russia. Bosch manufactures in Russia mainly consumer goods, heating technology, and vehicle spare parts for the local market. Continental has suspendied production at its Russian plant in Kaluga, Russia. The ZF Group has announced that it has ceased all deliveries to Russia, including spare parts. Meanwhile, it is offering employees in Ukraine paid leave, helping to evacuate their families, bringing support to the Ukrainian border, and opening German ZF offices for refugees.

Daimler Truck and Kamaz joint venture

On February 24, the same day, Russia has attacked the Ukraine, the European Commission’s (EC) approved the creation of a joint venture between Germany’s Daimler Truck and Russian’s Kamaz. Besides civilian vehicles, the Russian company manufactures military trucks. These trucks are applied with CAN-based in-vehicle networks. The EC decision was made under the EU Merger Regulation considering only competition concerns. Ukraine has complaint against the decision to allow the merger with Kamaz, because it produces military vehicles.

Kamaz has declared that its vehicles are not concerned directly in the aggression against Ukraine, because these vehicles are not used to transport weapons. They carry only soldiers and non-military goods argues the Russian company. It seems that it is be possible to slip through the EU sanctions, because the wording is not that precise. In the meantime, Daimler Truck has suspended entirely cooperation with Kamaz.


Publish date

Daimler Truck