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Russian jamming renders many US-supplied weapons ineffective – WaPo

Kiev has had to stop using some American arms due to Moscow’s electronic warfare capabilities, Ukrainian officials have said

Many US-made munitions that rely on satellite guidance have failed to withstand Russia’s jamming technology after being supplied to Kiev, the Washington Post reported on Friday.

The Ukrainian forces have had to stop using some of those armaments altogether because of Russia’s extensive electronic warfare capabilities, the paper said.

The affected munitions include Excalibur GPS-guided artillery shells, rockets for HIMARS multiple rocket launch systems and JDAM aircraft-dropped bombs, the report read.

The US completely ceased deliveries of Excalibur shells half a year ago after Ukraine reported that they had been rendered ineffective, unnamed Ukrainian officials told WaPo.

The paper said that it had also reviewed an internal assessment by Kiev, according to which the success rate of the munitions fell to just 10% within several months. “The Excalibur technology in existing versions has lost its potential,” the document read, adding that the encounter with Russian jamming has disproved its reputation as a “one shot, one target” weapon.

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The HIMARS system used to make headlines after being provided to Kiev in 2022, but the next year “everything ended: the Russians deployed electronic warfare, disabled satellite signals, and HIMARS became completely ineffective,” a senior Ukrainian military official complained. Because of this, Kiev had to resort to deploying the “very expensive shell” against lower-priority targets, he said.

The success rate of JDAMs also dropped significantly just weeks after they were first provided to Kiev in February 2023 as their “non-resistance” to jamming was revealed, the Ukrainian assessment stressed. During that period, the US-made bombs were missing their target by between 200 meters and 1.2km, it said.

The Ukrainian officials told WaPo that getting the needed adjustments to the “failing weaponry” has been difficult due to “an overly bureaucratic process” in Washington. However, in the case of JDAMs, the manufacturer was able to provide a patch and the munitions are still being used by Kiev, according to the sources.

On Saturday, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said that since the start of the conflict between Moscow and Kiev in February 2022, the production of electronic warfare equipment has increased 15-fold in the country.

READ MORE: Kiev’s drones losing electronic war – NYT

Russia has warned repeatedly that deliveries of weapons systems to Kiev by the US and its allies will not prevent Moscow from achieving its military goals, adding that it will merely prolong the fighting and could increase the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO. According to officials in Moscow, the provision of arms, the sharing of intelligence, and the training of Ukrainian troops means that Western nations have already become de-facto parties to the conflict.

May 26, 2024 at 01:20PM

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