Drone signal contention – the importance of jamming technology

Potential adversaries in the field of drone jamming – China and Russia

As the drone industry is taking off, some individuals and groups have started using drones for malicious purposes around the globe. Many companies are watching the trend and are trying to get into the counter drone industry. They have introduced all sorts of drone guns, anti-UAS shotgun shells, attack birds, net cannons, lasers, missiles, GPS signal jammer , radio spoofers, etc.

It doesn’t appear that the drone was hit by a projectile or laser in its descent (though evidence of such would certainly change this analysis). Barring a physical projectile, the known non-kinetic methods for stopping a drone are threefold: radio frequency (RF) jamming, global navigation satellite system (GNSS) jamming, and spoofing. With RF jamming, the link between the drone and its operator is severed, usually causing the drone to descend or return to home. With GNSS, the drone’s link to satellite navigation is lost, and the drone then usually hovers in place, lands, or returns home. With spoofing, the attacker feeds the drone new information to take control of its flight.

By the way, Crimean operation was very successful and bloodless also because all ukrainian military communications were jammed. I am not sure about cell-phones but in any case cell-phone call is not an authorized military communication channel… so there was no resistance from ukrainian military as they were not receiving orders from Kiev. Not that they wanted to receive them much… many simply joined Russian Army and Navy with great enthusiasm.

It didn’t “”shut down” anything. It makes a big splash on the radar scopes at first, until the software or a human presses the “”find jamming” mode button, then the weapon systems lock onto the signal jammer. In a real war the jammer would be obliterated in seconds. Not wanting to make it a hot war, the US ships let the jammer think it was getting away with it. Not even slightly.

China continues to develop a variety of capabilities designed to limit or prevent the use of space- based assets by adversaries during a crisis or conflict, including the development of directed-energy weapons and satellite jammers.

The problem is that many potential adversaries, such as the Chinese and the Russians, have developed advanced digital radio frequency memory (DRFM) jammers. These jammers, which effectively memorize an incoming radar signal and repeat it back to the sender, seriously hamper the performance of friendly radars.