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25 Jan. 2024

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Ukraine successfully defends itself against russian missiles with the latest electronic warfare system: we explain what it is and how it works

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Ukraine successfully defends itself against russian missiles with the latest electronic warfare system: we explain what it is and how it works

Electronic warfare is not a new type of weapon in warfare. However, this type of weaponry is constantly being improved to counter the enemy. Read more about how Ukraine uses REB and what is known about its new development that helps protect critical facilities that could be targeted by the russians

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russia's war against Ukraine has been going on for almost two years. During this time, the russian army has launched thousands of missiles at Ukrainian cities. Some of them, of course, were shot down in the air by air defence systems, but some missiles are being suppressed by Ukraine's electronic warfare systems, which became known only recently. Here's how electronic warfare helps Ukraine and what it is in simple terms.


For the first time, Ukraine announced the use of electronic warfare against russian missiles just a few weeks ago, on 13 January, when russia launched another large-scale attack. Back then, the Air Defence Forces managed to destroy seven cruise missiles and one airborne missile. However, another 20 missiles failed to reach their targets due to electronic warfare.


"More than 20 were directly affected by electronic warfare. And, as already mentioned, there are also low-quality missiles that may simply not reach their targets and fall in the field," said Yuriy Ihnat, spokesman for the Air Force Command.


What is electronic warfare in the simplest terms?


Many people are aware of the existence of electronic warfare, as the war has been going on for quite some time and this word appears in the news very often. However, few people have any idea how it works. Let us explain:


Electronic warfare (EW) is like a game of cat and mouse between the military. Imagine playing hide and seek, but this time you can use flashlights to find your friend. In a combat situation, enemy radars and missiles are your friend, and you are the one trying to find him.


Now imagine that you can make these flashlights temporarily stop working, or even flash a fake light instead of a real one. That's what electronic warfare does - it tries to confuse and disrupt enemy radars and missile control systems.


For example, if an enemy missile uses radio signals to find its target, EW can interfere with the signals so that they become indecipherable or disappear altogether. This makes it harder for the missile to find and attack its target.


Thus, electronic warfare helps the military to hide from enemy systems and reduce the likelihood of a missile hitting its target.


Ways of application


It is worth noting that electronic warfare uses various methods to interfere with enemy radars and missile systems. Here are some of the main ways this can happen:


▪️ Interference: Electronic warfare can generate strong radio signals that interfere with or overwhelm enemy radar or missile control systems. This interference can look like noise or random signals, making their signals less intelligible or indistinguishable.


▪️ Pulse interference: EW can create short pulses of electromagnetic energy that interfere with the normal functioning of enemy electronics, such as radars or missile receivers.


▪️ Signal masking and spoofing: EW can create false signals or messages, making it difficult for enemy radars to distinguish between real and fake targets.


▪️ Changing radio frequency: EW can periodically change the radio frequency of its signals to make it harder for enemy systems to track them.


▪️ Electronic jamming: This is a method whereby an EW can directly attack the electronic components of enemy systems, damaging them or rendering them inoperable.


These methods can be used in combination or separately depending on the specific situation and the objectives of the EWR. In general, electronic warfare seeks to disrupt the normal functioning of enemy communications and control systems in order to reduce their effectiveness and threat to its own military forces.




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A new development of Ukraine


Back in November last year, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, in an article for the Economist magazine, announced the existence of the Ukrainian electronic warfare system Pokrova. Little is known about it, but some information is available.


At the time, Zaluzhnyi said that Ukraine had already deployed a nationwide Pokrova system with the ability to replace satellite radio navigation and suppress radio navigation along the entire contact line and in most of Ukraine.


On 13 January, after the successful use of electronic warfare against russian missiles, Colonel Andriy Starykov, Head of the Electronic Warfare Department of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said during a telethon that the Pokrova system is an advanced technology that no other country in the world has today.


According to him, this system can affect the guidance of cruise missiles and, partially, Shahed drones.


We remind you! Yesterday, a russian military transport aircraft carrying S-300 missiles for the bombing of Ukraine crashed in the Belgorod region. Read here to find out what is known about the crash and what facts indicate a new russian provocation.

Want to know more? Read the latest news and useful materials about Ukraine and the world in the News section.




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