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US General Acknowledges Russian EW Jamming “Diminishing” Effectiveness of Smart Weapons in Ukraine

Last year, the renowned UK-based think tank, the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), stated that Russian military jamming operations were so effective that the Ukraine, the United States, and NATO were unable to ascertain whether their advanced weaponry, such as JDAM and HIMARS, could accurately strike their intended targets.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — A United States military general has admitted that the “tactical advantage” of various high-precision weapon systems made by the country and used in Ukraine has been significantly reduced due to Russian military jamming actions.

Speaking to national defense media recently, Lt. Gen. Antonio Aguto stated that Russian military jamming actions pose a significant challenge faced by the United States.

He heads an organization called the “Security Assistance Group-Ukraine,” responsible for coordinating military assistance to Ukraine.

Previously, unnamed US military officials complained to CNN that Russia had been jamming high-precision American weapon systems, leading to inaccurate targeting.

They stated attempts to mitigate the jamming by modifying rocket launchers, but Russia countered by adjusting their jamming systems.

Storm Shadow
Russian soldier inspected a malfunction “Storm Shadow” cruise missile.

 

Among the affected American weapon systems by Russian jamming actions is the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) supplied to the Ukrainian military.

In addition to the GMLRS multiple rocket system, reports from the US military also indicate Russian jamming of bombs guided by GPS systems supplied by the US to Ukraine.

According to US military officials, Russia has deployed various advanced jamming capabilities to the front lines, including jamming systems capable of disrupting GPS signals up to 24km away.

The Ukrainian military also complained that their drones often fall victim to Russian jamming, potentially causing issues for the Starlink system they employ.

According to Aguto, the US Department of Defense needs to enhance weapons and defense equipment to be more resilient and flexible in dealing with adversaries’ actions.

“Within weeks or months of deploying something to the front lines, our adversaries will seek ways to disrupt or counter those capabilities,” he said.

HIMARS
HIMARS

 

In mid-year, the renowned UK think tank, the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), stated that Russian military jamming actions have been so effective that the Ukrainian, US, and NATO forces couldn’t ensure the accuracy of their advanced weapons such as JDAM and HIMARS.

“Jamming doesn’t render JDAM unusable, but it increases the risk of smart weapons missing their targets,” said RUSI researcher Thomas Withington.

Although anti-jamming measures can address the issue, Russian electronic warfare systems are capable of “drowning out” GPS signals from satellites, according to the think tank’s study.

“The problem is the overwhelming power of jamming signals (by Russian electronic warfare systems) that can’t be countered,” said Withington.

In fact, the United States has already issued warnings about Russian electronic warfare system jamming capabilities in a leaked document last April, addressing the decreased accuracy of its “smart” weapons, including JDAM and HIMARS.

Krasukha
Russia’s “Krasukha” Electronic Warfare System.

 

Initially, “smart” weapon systems using GPS provided Ukraine hope as it offset Russia’s numerical and armament superiority.

Last summer, weapons like HIMARS supplied to the Ukrainian military proved highly effective in disrupting Russian military defense lines, enabling them to recapture several major cities.

However, the “advantage” held by the Ukrainian military was short-lived, as Russia made adjustments and began adapting, causing Kiev to lose that edge.

“It’s no longer a secret that the Russian military, much like the Soviet Union did, has spent considerable time, effort, and resources developing various electronic warfare systems,” said the RUSI researcher. — DSA

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