Russia is actively preparing for new electronic warfare
American military officials would not say whether the latest jamming has caused drones to crash, citing operational security. But the sources told NBC that Russian’s sophisticated jamming equipment, which was developed by its military, has proved to be effective even against some encrypted signals and anti-jamming receivers.
Russia has sent micro-satellites into space and covertly maneuvered a small spacecraft close to commercial satellites. Experts believe the small satellites could be used for a kamikaze-type mission to ram another satellite or to snoop on it for data collection or jamming to interfere with its capabilities.、
That Russia, specifically, would be interested in testing such technology is, also not an unreasonable assertion. Russia has, at the very least, invested heavily in electronic warfare technology that “jams” GPS signals in such a way as to render them useless. A 2016 intelligence summary by the U.S. Army’s Foreign Military Studies Office noted that Russia had integrated a massive network of GPS signal jammer into their civilian cell phone network, which could be switched on to impede smart missiles or other threats that rely on GPS navigation.
Cheating is possible, but more likely, in addition to the dogfighting, they are also training the electronics warfare personnel to actively jam enemy signals, while the opposing team actively implements countermeasures to defeat the jamming. Nothing like two actual sides jamming/counteracting each other in real time to get good training. You hear over and over again in the military, “train as you fight.”
The Army’s new Rapid Capabilities Office is focused like a laser on Russian threats to Army networks: both cyber attack (hacking) and electronic warfare (wifi signal jammer), in particular against the GPS signal on which US forces rely.
While Ukraine is the most glaring example of the danger, “Those dilemmas can be seen in any theater,” Piatt acknowledged. But focus on one threat, instead of “trying to solve the entire Army at one time,” lets the Rapid Capabilities Office get something into service as soon as possible, without waiting on official programs of record which, among other things, won’t get the Army a new offensive jammer until 2023. Once a solution has been prototyped, fielded on a small scale, and shown to work, he said, “then we can inform a fielding solution for the entire Army.”