Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (File)

Russia’s New Tactics Are Paralyzing US-Provided Weapons Mid-Air, Officials Say

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (File)
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (File)

Russia’s new war tactics are paralyzing U.S.-provided weapons mid-flight, creating a frustrating challenge for Ukrainian forces, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Among the weapons the U.S. has provided to Ukraine in its ongoing war against Russia are precision-guided missiles and air weapons, which use an array of technologies to hone in on their targets.

However, Russia has adapted its electronic warfare capabilities to scramble some of these weapons systems mid-air, rendering them useless or scrambling their ability to hit targets with precision, Ukrainian commanders told the WSJ.

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For example, the Excalibur artillery round, a shell equipped with precision guidance provided by the U.S. in mid-2022, initially proved incredibly effective at striking Russian tanks and artillery with laser focus, according to the WSJ. Russian forces quickly adapted with electronic countermeasures within weeks and were able to confuse the shell’s GPS tracking system, causing it to fly astray or fail to detonate on impact.

Russian electronic interference is causing U.S.-provided missiles for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) to suffer a similar fate, despite the system being credited with turning the tide in Ukraine’s favor during the summer of 2022, according to the WSJ. Ukrainian forces have sidelined U.S.-provided and Boeing-manufactured small-diameter bombs after they began to fail entirely because of electronic disruption.

Other Western weapons are still managing to evade Russia’s cyberwarfare capabilities and hit their targets with precision, including U.S.-made surface-to-surface ballistic missiles and European Shadow Storm cruise missiles, according to the WSJ. Ukrainian officials warned that it may only be a matter of time until Russia learns how to counter these weapons.

A lot of the weapons the U.S. is delivering to Ukraine are also older and less frequently used by the U.S. military in favor of newer systems, according to the WSJ. Ukraine isn’t necessarily getting access to these newer systems, and weapons manufacturers are slower to provide software upgrades to the older systems Kyiv has been forced to rely on.

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Ukraine’s domestic weapons production, while not as advanced as the U.S., has put a high priority on frequently equipping systems with software upgrades to improve their chances against Russian targets, according to the WSJ. A U.S. official told the WSJ that the Pentagon is “very aware” of Russia’s advancing electronic warfare capabilities and is working to ensure U.S.-provided weapons keep pace.

The U.S. alone has provided Ukraine with roughly $70 billion in military assistance since the country’s war with Russia began in 2022. Western allies have similarly provided Ukraine with tens of billions in military aid.

Despite the large amount of funding being given, American military assistance has done little to move the needle in the war in Kyiv’s direction. Ukrainian forces are struggling to maintain defensive positions along the eastern theater of the war as Russian forces, with better manpower and weapons than Ukraine, continue to slowly push forward and seize territory.

Daily Caller News Foundation

First published by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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