The Last Thing Russians Do Before Attacking: Strap On Drone-Jammers

0
24

Before successfully crossing the Dnipro River to establish a bridgehead on the river’s otherwise Russian-occupied left bank, Ukrainian forces spent weeks preparing the battlefield in southern Kherson Oblast.

Electronically preparing, that is.

Setting up mobile radio-jamming units while targeting the Russians’ own jammers, the Ukrainians created a dead zone for Russian drones over the settlement of Krynky—the ultimate locus of their river-crossing operation—and established local air-superiority.

Now the Russians are learning from the Ukrainians’ jam-first strategy. More and more, Russian assault groups are traveling under the electromagnetic umbrella of backpack radio-jammers. It’s not always evident the jammers actually work. But it’s important to note the Russians are trying.

An Estonian open-source intelligence analyst who translates Russian dispatches from the front line of Russia’s 22-month-wider war on Ukraine may have been the first to report on this new jamming tactic.

“More and more Russians are using portable [electronic warfare],” a source told @wartranslated. The source sent along captures from Ukrainian drone videos depicting at least three destroyed Russian vehicles, each sporting antennae for wearable radio-jammers—or the backpack-mounted jammers themselves.

Two MT-LB armored tractors, wrecked during a Russian assault, are representative. Both vehicles sport backpack jammers literally strapped to their hulls. “On the MT-LB, they installed it during the assault,” the source explained.

The jammers clearly didn’t save the MT-LBs from destruction, but that doesn’t mean the jammers totally failed to ground nearby Ukrainian drones. It’s possible the vehicles ran afoul of mines or artillery and their jammers’ batteries ran out before Ukrainian surveillance drones arrived to surveil the post-battle wreckage.

The backpack-jammers are expedients. They might offer some protection from ever-present drones while Russian industry scales up production of purpose-made vehicle-mounted jammers. More and more Russian tanks are appearing along the front line wearing Volnorez jammers that reportedly can disrupt a drone’s command signal out to a distance of half a mile or more.

Jammers aren’t some panacea. Developers are working on jam-proof drones that either switch to autonomous flight while their radio links are disrupted, or rapidly hop across radio frequencies to keep ahead of jamming attempts.

Ukraine recently revealed a new, 20-mile-range drone—the Backfire—which Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov claimed is “almost impossible to jam.”

Follow me on TwitterCheck out my website or some of my other work hereSend me a secure tip



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Enable Google Transliteration.(To type in English, press Ctrl+g)