In a shocking move, the Pentagon just announced that they would be buying the most advanced microchips for its spy satellites, missiles, and airplanes from a company in the United Arab Emirates, leading many to question whether sabotage might be possible.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the deal with Abu Dhabi-based Globalfoundries will run through 2023. At least at the moment, Globalfoundries will be the only company supplying the United States with advanced microprocessors.
Terms of the seven-year deal were not divulged.
Globalfoundries acquired the business from IBM last year, making it one of the four largest producers of advanced microprocessors in the world.
The General Accountability Office and lawmakers had expressed doubt about having a single source for the microchips, especially given the sensitive location of the parent company.
“Due to market trends, supply chain globalization and manufacturing costs, the (Defense Department’s) future access to U.S.-based microelectronics sources is uncertain,” a recent report by the House Armed Services Committee read.
While the United Arab Emirates has been one of the more stable countries in the Middle East, it is surrounded by a number of unstable ones. In addition, such an arrangement makes it easier for Middle Eastern nations that want to spy on the United States to do so, especially in mission-critical ways that could involve malware.