Jammers can also be your nightmare

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.”

Best case scenario: the thieves have no ties to insurgents and no appreciation of the jammers’ value … and the high-tech devices wind up in a scrap heap somewhere.Worst case: the jammers wind up in the hands of insurgents who then reverse-engineer them to create some kind of counter-counter-measure, thus making already-deadly IEDs even more dangerous.An advanced capability evolution of the Raytheon ADM-160C Miniature Air-Launched Decoy –  signal jammer has successfully flown a series of free flight demonstrations on the US Navy’s (USN’s) Point Mugu Sea Range off California.

While the U.S. military is unlikely to intentionally attack Russian forces in Syria, the situation highlights the importance of suppressing enemy air defenses—one major tactic U.S. flyers have long relied upon is radar cell phone jammer, or saturating enemy radars with “noise” and false signals so that they can’t track and fire upon friendly airplanes. The U.S. Navy has relied on the ALQ-99 jamming system for nearly half a century, even as opposing radars grew in ability. However, by the beginning of the next decade it will begin fielding the superior Next Generation high power jammer, boasting significant electronic-attack and signal-intelligence capabilities.

What can Duke do? Widely deployed in the Army and Marine Corps, Duke began life as a low-power, short-range jammer to keep radio-controlled roadside bombs from going off. (CREW is a nested acronym for Counter-RCIED (Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device) Electronic Warfare). But Duke evolved into a much more sophisticated system capable of detecting and disrupting a wide range of signals, from cellphones to the control links for enemy drones, as tested in the joint Black Dart experiments.

NBC News, citing four sources inside the Pentagon, reports that the jamming began weeks ago. It started shortly after suspected chemical attacks by the Syrian regime in the rebel-held Ghouta region. Russian forces were reportedly concerned that the U.S. military would retaliate for the use of chemical weapons and jammed drones to prevent U.S. forces gathering information.The Raytheon Company, manufacturer of the low-cost flight vehicle, spent the last two years upgrading the jammer version of the platform, known as MALD-J, to include electronic warfare capabilities, as part of the $34.8 million MALD-X demonstration effort.