Russia’s Electronic Warfare Rendering U.S. Drones Useless

I reckon we’ll be using carrier pigeons again before long. Foreign Policy reports that the US military’s vaunted technological communications and remote controlled weaponry are useless in the face of Russian jamming technology:

It comes at different times, and in different forms. But as they have charted the war in southeast Ukraine over the past year, drones flown by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe have run into the same problem: Russian troops on the ground are jamming them into virtual blindness.

Flickr_-_The_U.S._Army_-_Radio_check

It’s just one part of a sophisticated Russian electronic warfare (EW) effort in Ukraine that has proved a sobering experience for the U.S. Army. Faced with how the newly modernized Russian army is operating in Ukraine and Syria — using equipment like the Krasukha-4, which jams radar and aircraft —American military officials are being forced to admit they’re scrambling to catch up.

Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, commander of U.S. Army units in Europe, has described Russian EW capabilities in Ukraine as “eye-watering.” Ronald Pontius, deputy to Army Cyber Command’s chief, Lt. Gen. Edward Cardon, told a conference this month that “you can’t but come to the conclusion that we’re not making progress at the pace the threat demands.”

The electronic war was on display from the start of the Russian incursion into Crimea in the spring of 2014. Not long after Russian EW equipment began rolling into the region, Ukrainian troops began to find that their radios and phones were unusable for hours at a time. Meanwhile, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, an international conflict-monitoring group, has consistently reported that its drones watching the conflict in eastern Ukraine have been subject to military-grade GPS jamming,” forcing monitors to scrub missions taking stock of the war below…

[continues at Foreign Policy]

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