September 13, 2023

Exclusive: Chinese Company Suspected of Supplying Advanced Defense Technologies to Russia

The company in question, Roc Martin Technology Co Ltd., had a booth at Russia's Army International Military-Technical Forum held this August in Moscow.

In the Russia-Ukraine War, Russia has increasingly relied on Chinese technology, including thermal imaging scopes, cameras, and surveillance drones.

Invoice for China-based InfiRay thermal imaging scope

There is also real concern that China may provide lethal aid to Russia to use against Ukraine.

Using open-source intelligence (OSINT) techniques and methods, we identified a Chinese defense company suspected of doing business with Russia that does drone production and customization and sells radar jammers and anti-drone guns.

The company in question, Roc Martin Technology Co Ltd., had a booth at Russia's Army International Military-Technical Forum held this August in Moscow. The forum is no small matter and had Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in attendance. Roc Martin's booth, in the F section of the forum, was surrounded by other Chinese companies that build technology with military and police application.

Roc Martin Products

Roc Martin is known for its specialization in producing foldable drones, micro-military UAVs, and drone technology support systems.

Products offered by Roc Martin

On its contact page, Roc Martin's Global Market Office number is Russian. The number, (+7 9153367964), has Russian country code and Moscow-based area code. There are also Chinese WhatsApp and Telegram phone numbers listed on the site.

Additionally, Roc Martin's Chinese company name is listed in a document detailing its product and service range, suggesting its name isn't Roc Martin at all. The company name, according to a products document on its site, is 洛克马丁(天津)科技有限公司 or Locke Martin ( Tianjin ) Technology Co.  Ltd based in Tianjin, China, very similar to name for the U.S. defense contractor, Lockheed Martin. Chinese business information show the company describes itself as being involved in multiple fields, such as technology development, import and export of technology, and consulting. The business scope for Locke Martin changed in July, a month before the military forum in Russia, information which we weren't able to access as those details are secured behind China's mainland firewall.

Many Chinese companies involved in exporting technology have overseas sales reps on U.S. social media platforms, pushing their goods and services. For example, Huzhou Winners Armour Co. Ltd., a bulletproof vest and bulletproof helmet supplier, had a booth at Russia's Army International Military-Technical Forum, and posted a photo of it to social media.

Photo from Sales Manager of Huzhou Winners Armor posted to her social media

In the booth's top left, you'll spot the number "4-F3-3," identifying its position in section F, just like Roc Martin's. However, the online presence of Locke Martin is at best, minimal.

Our domain analysis of the Roc Martin website yielded limited specific information, primarily centered around its hosting services in Hong Kong. Additionally, we discovered that the website had been registered in June 2023. When we tried to pull more information from the IP address, our requests were blocked.

The difficulty in obtaining information about the company raise concerns that it may be a front for the trade of Chinese military technology to Russia. Despite NATO and U.S. warnings about severe consequences for providing lethal aid to Russia, some Chinese defense firms, such as Locke Martin, seem intent on deepening their military technology ties with Russia.

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