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Russia To Install Powerful Electronic Warfare System To Defend Its Warships From Drone & Missile Attacks

According to Izvestia, a Russiαn newspaper, Moscow is developing a new modular electronic warfare (EW) system to secure its warships and auxiliary vessels from anti-ship missiles and drones.

As per the sources within the Russiαn military, cited by Izvestia, the new EW systems will be installed in standard 40-foot sea containers and can be easily mounted on the deck of various surface ships of the Russiαn Navy, including auxiliary vessels like tugboats, transports, and others.

According to Izvestia, these protective containers should reliably cover ships and vessels from enemy missiles and drones by jamming their electronics.

The Russiαn military sources told Izvestia that the Project 22160 series patrol ships would be the first set of platforms within the Russiαn Navy to receive the new electronic warfare system. The Project 22160 ships are large ships designed for patrol, monitoring, and protection in open and closed seas.

Dmitriy Rogachyov: A Project 22160 Patrol ship in Sevastopol. (Wikipedia)

Project 22160 ships will be used to defend the coast and coastal bases in a conflict. They can also be used to escort ship groups and individual ships and in search and rescue and anti-piracy operations.

More importantly, the Project 22160 ships have a modular architecture, which means they can accommodate a variety of weapon systems and equipment for various purposes.

Former chief of the Main Staff of the Russiαn Navy, Admiral Valentin Selivanov, told Izvestia that the presence of powerful means of electronic warfare is significant for the modern naval fleet.

The new electronic warfare systems will be installed in standard 40-foot sea containers and can be easily mounted on the deck of various surface ships of the Russiαn Navy. (Izvestia)

“Now electronic warfare is used against drones, tactical aircraft, and cruise missiles,” he said.

“And patrol ships, as the name implies, patrol in the coastal zone and will protect the coast precisely from air strikes. Attacks from the sea can be resisted – ships are tracked. But air strikes can be sudden. But if there are powerful means of electronic warfare, then they will be able to fight with drones, aircraft, and missiles,” said Selivanov.

“The means of electronic warfare force the drone to drop its ammunition or land where it is necessary, that is, to disrupt its attack,” Selivanov explained.

The retired Russiαn admiral recalled that the Russiαn armed forces already have experience in using electronic warfare equipment in combat conditions in Ukrαine.

How EW Is Shaping Ongoing Conflict

As EurAsian Times reported in April, the media coverage of the ongoing Russiα-Ukrαine conflict primarily focuses on using missiles, artillery, and aircraft. An invisible struggle between the two sides within the electromagnetic domain has been shaping the war significantly.

Russiαn EW systems fielded in Ukrαine include the RB-341В “Leer-3” supported by Orlan-10 drones, the most advanced RB-301B “Borisoglebsk-2” electronic suppression system, and the RB-636 “Svet-KU” and the RB-109A “Bylina” and Tirada-2.

The RB-341В “Leer-3” in conjunction with the Orlan-10 drones are aimed at intercepting satellite navigation signals, 3G, 4G communications, and text messages, while the RB-301B “Borisoglebsk-2” is for blocking Ukrαiniαn military ground and airborne High Frequency (HF) and Ultra High Frequency (UHF) radio channels, and the RB-636 “Svet-KU,” whose role is to locate and intercept radio signals.

The RB-109A “Bylina” and Tirada-2 are used to degrade and jam communications satellite transmissions.

The R-934B “Sinitsa” jamming station can also disrupt and, if necessary, even damage satellites’ communications and guidance systems in low-Earth orbit (LEO).

In addition to that, there are the 1RL257 “Krasukha-C4” and the R-330Zh “Zhitel” automatic jamming stations for reconnaissance and electronic attack (EA) aimed at jamming the long distances radar signals of the US Air Force’s AWACS E-3 Sentry and AEW E-2 Hawkeye airborne warning and control aircraft, trying to locate Russiαn fighters in flight.

US Air Force AWACS E-3 Sentry (USAF)

In the initial months of the war, this extensive array of Russiαn EW systems appeared to be failing, puzzling many military experts who have been tracking Russiαn EW capabilities and concepts for years.

However, ever since the conflict has shifted to the east and south of Ukrαine, close to the Russiαn territory and the Russiαn -held Crimean peninsula, the performance of the Russiαn EW units appears to have improved significantly, especially against the Ukrαiniαn unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Ukrαiniαn Drones Getting Jammed?

It is important to note that drones were instrumental in the Ukrαiniαn battlefield successes in the initial months of the war when the Russiαn military was advancing toward Kyiv to seize the Ukrαiniαn capital.

Social media at the time was abuzz with videos showing Russiαn tanks, air defense systems, helicopters, and supply trucks being knocked out by drone or drone-assisted artillery strikes.

However, this began to change after Russiα made Donbas the sole focus of its military campaign in Ukrαine.

Reports began emerging that the Russiαn military is increasingly employing its EW systems because of shorter, easier-to-defend supply lines. It allowed the Russiαn electronic warfare gear to be fielded closer to the frontlines. Whereas, in the initial phase of the war, Russiαn military convoys were getting stalled due to lack of fuel and other logistical issues.

Also, according to Dr. Thomas Withington, an expert on electronic warfare, radar, and military communications, east Ukrαine is very different from Kyiv, where the Russiαn military is mainly fighting in an open country which eases electronic attacks against UAVs, as it minimizes risks of jamming signals getting blocked out by large buildings.

In June, a Ukrαiniαn Intelligence official revealed that the Russiαn jamming of GPS receivers on drones that Ukrαine uses to locate the enemy and direct artillery fire is particularly intense “on the line of contact.”

Similar reports have been coming in even from the southern Ukrαiniαn region where the Ukrαiniαn military is conducting its Kherson offensive.

Wounded v soldiers who were a part of the ongoing Kherson offensive have revealed that their drones are being hijacked by Russiαn hacking tools, leaving Ukrαiniαn operators helpless.

That said, it is also important to remember that it is impossible to get a definitive picture of the use and effectiveness of the Russiαn EW capabilities amidst the fog of ongoing war, as Electromagnetic Spectrum is an invisible domain and the available information is fragmentary.