Ukraine’s Western allies have provided “sophisticated” missiles, but Russia is countering their effectiveness by scrambling their GPS coordinates, rendering them useless.
What Happened: According to a report by BBC, Bryan Clark, a senior fellow at Hudson Institute, a U.S. think tank, said that Russia has managed to deploy hundreds of small, mobile electronic-warfare units along the front line in an attempt to slow down Ukraine’s counter-offensive.
Clark also told the outlet that Russian technologies can jam missiles’ GPS coordinates, turn off Ukrainian drones and suppress Russian radar signals that Ukraine use to identify targets to attack.
According to the report, Russia has developed a range of jamming technology such as Krasukha-4, which targets airborne and air defense radars; Zhitel, which suppresses satellite signals; and Leyer-3, a cellular and radio communications jammer.
Numerous sophisticated weapons supplied to Ukraine by NATO countries are also susceptible to such jamming, as they rely on GPS signals for navigation, the BBC reported.
“Zhitel can jam a GPS signal within 30km (98425.2 feet) of the jammer,” Clark added. “For weapons like JDAM bombs, which use just a GPS receiver to guide it to the target, that’s sufficient to lose its geolocation and go off target.”
The R-330Zh Zhitel system is also capable of satellite signal suppression.
According to the BBC, Ukraine is attempting to eliminate Russian electronic-warfare units before initiating missile strikes, engaging in a strategic game of cat and mouse.
Alternatively, Ukraine may target these units once the country detects Russian efforts to obstruct missile coordinates.
“It is a constant cat-and-mouse game of finding a countermeasure to the jamming, only to have the Russians counteract that countermeasure. And it is not clear how sustainable that game is in the long term,” a Pentagon official told CNN.
“It’s one thing to be able to hold the Russians off where they are right now. It’s another thing to drive them out,” retired U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Steven Anderson told CNN. “They’re dug in; they’ve been there for a year.”
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