Ukraine is focusing on blowing up Russia's electronic warfare systems that are impeding its advanced weapons

Ukraine is focusing on blowing up Russia's electronic warfare systems that are impeding its advanced weapons
The remains of a Russian mobile electronic-warfare system on display at St. Michael's Square in Kyiv in May 2022.Valentyna Polishchuk/TRK LUX/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images
  • Ukraine is putting renewed effort into its fight against Russia's electronic warfare, CNN reported.
  • A drone operator detailed how Russia is using its systems against Ukraine's most advanced weapons.

Ukraine is focused on destroying Russia's electronic warfare systems that are increasingly hampering its advanced weaponry, CNN reported.

Ukraine's military has reported destroying multiple Russian systems in recent weeks, including a "Pole-21" electronic warfare system and a Svet-KU.

Pavlo Petrychenko, the drone commander of Ukraine's 59th Motorized Brigade, told CNN that Ukraine needs to destroy those weapon systems to be able to take back territory from Russia.

He said Russia has been using electronic warfare systems to interfere with Ukraine's communications and drones since it launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022.

But Russia has more recently been using its systems against the advanced weapons from the West, like the US-donated HIMARS, Petrychenko said.


"When we started to receive foreign equipment, they started to use these systems to suppress our weapons," he said.

Electronic warfare systems can seriously hamper advanced weapons, by jamming signals or by confusing a missile as to where it is, causing it to miss its target.

According to an article published in the Economist last week, Ukraine discovered in March that its Excalibur GPS-guided shells had started missing their targets, and something similar was happening to its American-supplied JDAM-ER guided bombs.

The report said that this was also the case with Ukraine's HIMARS-launched GMLRS long-range rockets. "In some areas, a majority of GMLRS rounds now go astray," it said.

The article also pointed to a May report from the Royal United Services Institute that estimated that Russia had one major electronic warfare system every 10 kilometers, about six miles, along the frontline.


Experts have previously said that Russia's jamming was interfering with Ukrainian bombs and weapons, and making them miss their targets.

Pentagon documents leaked in April revealed US concerns that Russian jamming was reducing the accuracy of American-made weapons given to Ukraine, as Business Insider previously reported.

Compared to older weapons systems, modern systems like HIMARS are particularly vulnerable to electronic warfare because they use GPS to hit their targets, CNN noted.

Ukraine has been pushing back with its own use of electronic warfare systems.

Ukraine was able to drastically increase its domestic drone production — something that has helped transform the fighting — and Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine's minister of digital transformation, told CNN that Ukraine aims to replicate this with its electronic warfare systems.


"We are not only scaling UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) production, we are scaling EW production too and generally changing the approach to the use of electronic warfare," he said.

Ukraine's top general, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, wrote in an op-ed for the Economist earlier this month that Ukraine having more of its own electronic warfare systems will be the "key to victory" in a fight dominated by drone warfare.

But he warned that Russia was outdoing Ukraine in developing its own electronic warfare systems.