Russian Electronic Warfare Systems Wreaking Havoc on Ukrainian Warplanes
11:18 GMT 20.09.2023 (Updated: 11:20 GMT 20.09.2023)
© Photo : Russian Defence MinistryField-21M (Polye-21M) electronic warfare system
© Photo : Russian Defence Ministry
Ukraine’s NATO-backed armed forces have faced overwhelming Russian air superiority across the 1,000 km frontline of the special operation zone. According to Russia’s Defense Ministry, some 473 Ukrainian fixed wing aircraft and 249 helicopters have been knocked out to date, with the country’s pre-escalation air force almost completely destroyed.
Russia’s electronic warfare systems are forcing Ukrainian combat aircraft to prematurely abandon combat missions and return to their bases, an informed source has told sputnik.
“Russian electronic warfare system such as the Krasukha are presently capable of completely suppressing the avionics of Ukrainian fighter jets and attack aircraft. As a result, Ukrainian Armed Forces pilots regularly have to abandon combat missions due to failure of onboard systems, turn around and return to base,” the source said.
According to the source’s information, Ukrainian aircraft limp back to base using traditional, visual terrain-based navigation, as Russian EW disables their onboard navigation systems.
Sputnik reported on the use of the Krasukha-S4 self-propelled electronic warfare system in the special operation zone last week. The multi-purpose Russian system is reportedly able to disable all sorts of aircraft and drones, spy satellites, and even enemy ground-based radars by generating powerful jamming signals targeting core radar frequencies and other radio-emitting sources at distances of over 300 km.
16 September, 10:02 GMT
Electronic warfare systems have been a strong suit of the Russian armed forces going back to the second half of the 20th century, with the Soviet radio-electronic combat doctrine fixating on the “total integration of electronic warfare and physical destruction resources to deny an enemy the use of his electronic control systems and, concurrently, to protect friendly electronic control systems from enemy disruption.”
Today, Russia is armed with a broad array of modern short, medium, long and ultra-long electronic warfare systems, from the Krasukha and Tobol to the Moskva, Infauna, Leer and Triad, among others. Independent US military observers have characterized Russia’s EW capabilities as second to none, with the British Royal United Services Institute recently citing them as a key factor in explaining the failure of Kiev’s summer counteroffensive.
The US and its allies have also reportedly testing out their own EW systems in Ukraine. Last week, a senior US officer taking part in an air, space and cyber conference in Maryland confirmed that the Pentagon was “taking notes” on Russia’s EW tactics.