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Russian electronic warfare jams some US weapons in Ukraine – The Washington Post

Friday, 24 May 2024, 19:01
Russian electronic warfare jams some US weapons in Ukraine – The Washington Post
Russian R-330Zh Zhitel electronic warfare system. Stock photo: open sources

The Washington Post writes that the accuracy of some types of Western weapons has decreased due to the work of Russian electronic warfare systems.

Source: The Washington Post citing confidential Ukrainian sources

Details: According to the publication, Kyiv ceased utilising some types of American weapons after their accuracy dropped dramatically. This concerns weapons that use satellite guidance – specifically, Excalibur artillery shells and HIMARS systems.


Quote: "The success rate for the US-designed Excalibur shells, for example, fell sharply over a period of months — to less than 10 per cent hitting their targets."

According to the article, six months ago, after the Ukrainians reported the issue, Washington stopped delivering Excalibur shells.

A senior US official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the Pentagon anticipated that certain precision-guided weapons would be defeated by Russian electronic warfare and collaborated with Ukraine to overcome this.

However, Russia's use of electronic warfare continues to increase.

This contributes to the fact that Washington and its NATO partners continue to seek ways to counter Russian inventions.

"Russia’s invasion of Ukraine created a modern testing ground for Western arms that had never been used against a foe with Moscow’s ability to jam GPS navigation."

According to the Washington Post, even before the US stopped supplying Excaliburs, Ukrainian operators had generally stopped employing them because they were more difficult to use than other shells.

Russian electronic warfare, it is stated, also impedes the work of Ukrainian pilots: "there are no open windows for the Ukrainian pilots where they feel that they are not at gunpoint." However, contemporary F-16 fighters would enable the Ukrainian Air Force to repel Russian aircraft.

Regarding HIMARS, the article states that during the first year of operation, they successfully destroyed command stations and warehouses containing Russian weaponry; however, in the second year, Russian electronic warfare began to jam them.

The Washington Post reports that "this ineffectiveness led to the point where a very expensive shell was used" to strike very low-priority targets. 

Kyiv still deems its HIMARS missiles efficient, but Russian jamming might lead them to miss by 15 metres or more.

However, according to an American official, the US provides HIMARS with additional equipment to ensure accurate targeting.

Ukrainians fight Russian electronic warfare in several ways, including the employment of drones before aiming at targets.

The New York Times reported that before the attack on Kharkiv Oblast, Russia had used the latest technologies to disrupt the Armed Forces' ability to communicate, obtain intelligence, and launch drone attacks over the Starlink satellite Internet.

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