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Military: Ukraine destroys Russian electronic warfare system

by Daria Shulzhenko November 5, 2023 10:20 AM 2 min read
Ukrainian military fires RPGs at enemy positions as the special military unit holds the first line of the frontline Russian-Ukrainian war on Nov. 3, 2023 in Bakhmut direction. (Kostya Liberov/Libkos/Getty Images)
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Ukrainian forces have destroyed a Russian "Pole-21" electronic warfare system, General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, the commander of the Tavria Group fighting on the southern front lines, reported on Nov. 5.

Tarnavskyi did not provide further details but said that the system was "designed to suppress satellite navigation channels."

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) wrote in its Sept. 8 report that Russian forces are changing their communications structures and adapting their electronic warfare systems in response to the Ukrainian counteroffensive's continued advance.

The ISW also said that the Russian military was also changing its deployment of electronic warfare (EW) systems at the front: The new dispersal pattern, from a concentration of roughly 10 EW systems for every 20 kilometers to one system per 10 kilometers, indicates that the Russian military has improved the coverage a single EW system provides.

In his Nov. 1 opinion piece for the Economist, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, wrote that Russia "outdoes us in this area," having created a new branch of its army dedicated to electronic warfare and built 60 new types of equipment.

At the start of the war, 65% of Ukraine's jamming platforms were produced in Soviet times, Zaluzhnyi said.

According to him, Ukraine needs to improve its ability to conduct electronic warfare from drones.

Electronic warfare is "the key to victory in the drone war," he wrote.  

In May, CNN reported that in recent months, Russia has been blocking the U.S.-provided High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) used by the Ukrainian army, making them less effective.

Russian forces use electronic jammers to disable the system's GPS targeting mechanism, causing the missiles to miss their target, the media outlet wrote.

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