Electronic warfare is a significant part of the Russia-Ukraine conflict that is rarely discussed. And neither Russia nor Ukraine’s capability in this area is known.
The simple act of turning on a cell phone on the Ukrainian battlefield might signify an avalanche of onslaughts. “Rain of bombs and firestorms” can also be caused by anti-artillery radar and remote control systems for drones.
a potent weapon
It’s part of electronic warfare, a crucial but little-discussed facet of the Russian-Ukrainian struggle. On the battlefield, commanders typically avoided discussing the problem for fear of a leak of classified information jeopardising their military operations.
The employment of technology to target communications, location, and navigation systems in order to detect, blind, or fool an opponent and inflict direct damage is known as electronic warfare. Artillery, fighters, cruise missiles, drones, and a variety of other weapons are all targets. This strategy can also be used by the military to defend its forces.
Because Russia is still regarded as the world’s leading country in electronic warfare capabilities, this is thought to be an area where Russia has a significant edge over Ukraine in the fight. However, Russia’s electronic warfare capabilities were scarcely used in the early stages of the military operation when Moscow assaulted Ukraine’s capital Kiev and northern cities for a variety of reasons.
When Moscow focused its efforts on “liberating” the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine in the second phase of the war, this method became a far more crucial role in the framework of supply routes. Russia was able to transfer additional electronic equipment closer to the combat as the cables became shorter and more convenient.
According to a member of Ukraine’s Aerorozvidka special reconnaissance force, which specialises in drone warfare: “They’re jamming any device they can get their hands on. We still don’t know where they are. They dominated (in terms of electronic warfare), yet they were a significant hindrance to us.”
“Russia posed a severe threat by undermining commanders’ efforts to spy and communicate with the military,” a Ukrainian intelligence official said. According to the official, Russia “jammed” GPS receivers on drones used by Ukraine to pinpoint and fire artillery at enemy positions.
a fierce rivalry
Russia’s electronic warfare capabilities are now difficult to determine. According to analysts, this capability has significantly strengthened since Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Russia stated last week that it had destroyed a Ukrainian electronic intelligence station in Dniprovske, in the country’s southeast.
Many US partners have expressed alarm in the past about Russia’s electronic warfare capabilities. According to a research published by an Estonian think tank, Russian technology will “provide a severe challenge to the proper planning and execution of NATO military operations targeted at the defence of other nations,” including the Baltic States.
Ukraine, for its part, has been working for years to improve its electronic warfare capabilities. This includes gaining a tactical edge by employing encrypted American communications technology. Drones fitted with cameras have been modified by Aerorozvidka forces to assess enemy positions, drop explosives, crack software to disrupt hostile electronics, and gather intelligence.
On the battlefield, Ukraine has also used Western intelligence and electronic warfare technology. Kiev also relies on jamming devices supplied by the United States and the United Kingdom. Ukraine’s military claims to have had some success combating Russia’s electronic warfare activities, including the seizure of numerous key pieces of equipment and the destruction of two mobile electronic warfare units multimedia motion.
Exploration, attack, and defence are the three core elements of electronic warfare. The first step is to gather information by tracking down adversary electronic signals. The next step is an attack and “white noise” jamming to disable and degrade the enemy’s systems, such as the radio communication system, mobile phone system, air defence system, and artillery radar. Finally, trick or confuse your opponent in order to cause them to miss the target.
“It’s incredibly tough to operate on the modern battlefield without data,” said Laurie Buckhout, a former US Army electronic warfare commander. Jammers may quickly “blind” an aircraft, and losing your GPS or radar while flying a fighter jet at speeds of over 900 km/h is extremely dangerous. The battle in Eastern Ukraine is currently raging, and the ability to disable the enemy’s drones has become critical for both sides. Because it will benefit their artillery forces on the battlefield.
“Because it relies largely on cutting-edge technologies and success, this is a tremendously complex field,” said James Stidham, a communications security expert and consultant with the US Department of Homeland Security. Achievements can be readily copied or erased.”
All of this demonstrates the need of maintaining complete secrecy in an electronic conflict.
In the current setting, the country with the most contemporary and advanced military technologies, as well as powerful weapons with great accuracy and efficiency, will have the upper hand in a battle. As a result, electronic warfare has played a critical role on the modern battlefield and is seen as a “invisible fist.”