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Electronic Weapons: The Silenced Threat In Syria

Monday, April 16, 2018   (0 Comments)

via Strategy Page  |  April 16, 2018


In March 2018 a cell phone photo of a Russian Mi-8 helicopter equipped with the new Rychag-AV appeared on the Internet. This Mi-8 was operating in northwestern Syria, where it would be used to jam enemy aircraft and missiles that depend on wireless communications. Russia first announced the Rychag-AV jammer in 2015 and in 2016 Russia announced that a custom version of the M-8 transport helicopter (Mi-8MTPR-1) equipped with Rychag-AV was delivered to army units operating near Ukraine. In 2017 Mi-8MTPR-1 was seen operating over Crimea and local Ukrainian hackers, using custom hardware and software they had built, reported details of Rychag-AV in operation over Crimea. Russia claims Rychag-AV can automatically detect and jam enemy radar and other electronic signals up to 400 kilometers away.

Rychag-AV is designed to be operated from aircraft, trucks and ships but it can detect more signals and farther away if airborne or having its sensors and jammers mounted on a high portion of a ship (where radars have long been mounted). In addition to the Ukrainian hackers, NATO has had EW (Electronic Warfare) personnel in Ukraine for several years to monitor local Russian EW efforts. Not many details of what these monitors detected is made public since EW works best if its capabilities are a surprise. It is unknown if Russia has actually used Rychag-AV in Syria or Ukraine. Or if they did use it was it on a sustained basis (required to disrupt a large scale air operation, like the April 13 attack on Syrian chemical warfare facilities) or for short periods, just to test the equipment.

Russia is still striving to update a lot of its Cold War era military equipment and EW gear was one of the few categories that had priority.  READ MORE...

With over 13,000 members internationally, the Association of Old Crows is an organization for individuals who have common interests in Electronic Warfare (EW), Electromagnetic Spectrum Management Operations, Cyber Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA), Information Operations (IO), and other information related capabilities. The Association of Old Crows provides a means of connecting members and organizations nationally and internationally across government, defense, industry, and academia to promote the exchange of ideas and information, and provides a platform to recognize advances and contributions in these fields.