Ukraine war: Ukraine’s invisible battle to jam Russian weapons
Spread the love

Early on in the invasion of Ukraine, experts were surprised at how poorly the Russian army’s electronic warfare units performed. It has taken nearly 18 months for them to cause significant problems for Ukraine’s counter-offensive.

A Ukrainian soldier hiding behind a wall near the eastern front line whispers, “Use single rounds.”. If they close in, we will be able to last till morning.

A soldier’s call-sign resembles that of the famous French actor from the 1970s, Alain Delon. A high-priority target for the Russian army, he is part of a lightly armed team of electronic intelligence officers.

As a result of spotting their antenna, Alain fears Russian troops may have started heading for their base. Changing positions is the best course of action for him. It’s important to be invisible to your enemy in electronic warfare.

Detecting electronic signals from Russian weapons – including drones, air defense systems, jammers, artillery, and multiple rocket launchers – is one of their jobs. By determining the source of the signals and the type of weapon, they pass on coordinates to other units that will seek to destroy the target.

As a result of this information, commanders are also able to build up a picture of the battlefield.

The Ukrainian General Staff’s electronic and cyber warfare chief, Col Ivan Pavlenko, said, “This is a war of technologies.”

“If I see a number of radio stations in the same place, I understand it may be a command post. If I see some radio stations move forward, I understand it may be a counter-offensive or an offensive.”

There is an invisible conflict at play parallel to the explosions, missile strikes, and trench warfare that dominate the news.

To receive data, almost every modern weapon – from artillery installations to high precision missiles – uses radio waves, microwaves, or infrared. They are therefore vulnerable to electronic warfare, in which those signals can be intercepted and suppressed.

Yaroslav Kalinin, chief executive of Infozahyst, a company that produces electronic warfare systems for the Ukrainian army, says that if you lose electronic warfare, your forces will become 19th century. There will be a ten-step gap between you and your opponent.