Russia Jamming US Precision-Guided Weapons Sent to Ukraine

Russia has been successful at making some precision-guided weapons that America has supplied to Ukraine ineffective in action.

A recent Ukrainian military research project, as well as some Ukranian commanders, have said that Russia has been able to jam these weapons, which has greatly diminished their accuracy.

When they were first introduced, the weapons performed quite well. But, as Russia started to adapt its defenses, they weren’t as effective, according to two recent Ukrainian confidential reports. 

Two artillery commanders even went as far as saying they stopped using the weapons because of how ineffective they were.

The Washington Post revealed the reports first, which focus on two American-made weapons. One is the Excalibur, which is a 155-millimeter guided artillery shell, and the other is known as the GLSDB, or Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb.

Ukraine has ended up being a testing ground for some weapons that, before now, haven’t been put to the test against sophisticated enemies that have high-tech capabilities, which Russia possesses. 

How these weapons perform on the battlefield is of utmost concern to all sides in this war. NATO, the Pentagon and plenty of other military organizations monitor the results, as they can affect future development of weapons.

According to the reports, some of the Ukrainian commanders have said that the weapons supplied by western nations have failed, and it’s cost lives in the country.

Russia has been able to deploy electronic warfare systems stationed near static targets including command centers and headquarters that could be targets for Ukrainian precision weapons.

These systems are able to blast out a ton of interference, which ends up drowning out the GPS signal that guides the targeting software of a weapon like the Excalibur. That’s according to Thomas Withington, who is a specialist in electronic warfare and works at the Royal United Services in London as an associate fellow.

The reports’ data corroborates other comments that some military officials in Ukraine have made over the last few months. That includes comments from General Valery Zaluzhny of the Ukrainian army, who said some of the western-supplied projectiles gave Ukraine military superiority over Russian forces at first, but that didn’t last very long.

Zaluzny specifically named the Excalibur as a prime example of a weapon that is no longer effective because the target system it uses is based on GPS, which is very susceptible to jamming efforts from Russia.

Similar problems have been reported about shells used with HIMARS, the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, and JDAM, the Joint Direct Attack Munition kit. Both of those systems also use GPS.

A second report from the Ukrainian military also outlined that the GLSDB, which is jointly produced by Saab and Boeing, has been similarly hampered by electronic warfare in Russia. That precision munition has a longer range than the Excalibur does.

Andrew Zagorodnyuk, who heads the Center for Defense Strategies — a Kyiv-based research organization — said that the Ukrainian military has stopped deploying the GLSDB at all on the battlefield.