Russia, via electronic warfare technology, continues to demonstrate that they are light years ahead in terms of military technology and hardware. In recent war games conducted, Krasuhka-S4 operators scrambled the navigation systems and the targeting capability of high-precision weapons used by Russian Su-34 fighter-bombers, who played the role of enemy aircraft, during the military drills. As a result of this, the simulated enemy was unable to identify their targets and launch corresponding airstrikes. These drills are part of a coordinated effort to significantly increase the production of military equipment utilising electronic warfare systems.
The Radio-Electronic Technologies Concern (KRET) have manufactured a wide array of advanced electronic warfare systems, including the Krasuhka-S4. Currently around 100 Su-34 fighter bombers are equipped with Khibiny-10V systems which impede the ability of air-to-air and ground-to-air missiles to detect these aircraft by a margin of around 30%. In addition these systems have been deployed on Russian Su-34s and Su-30SMs in Syria.
Russia has also been developing the Tarantul aircraft electronic countermeasures system for the last decade which is now in the test phase of development. This system will be utilised by Su-34s to protect other combat aircraft from enemy radar.
The Krasukha-S4 has a range of 300 kilometres and is designed to counter airborne early warning control systems and other airborne radar systems. The capabilities of the Krasukha are wide-ranging, including the disruption of low Earth orbit satellites, permanent damage to radio-electronic devices and the targeting of ground-based radar systems.
Developments are also underway to expand its capabilities to include targets at very high altitudes, up to and including outer space with the intention of jamming spy satellites and creating what effectively is a dead zone around the satellite which is also impervious to detection.
Russia, who alone possesses these systems, sees the development of such electronic warfare systems as a mechanism for maintaining technological superiority, principally in aerial and naval weaponry. Human intervention is minimal which greatly reduces the reaction time to a particular threat.
The most famous example of the utilisation of such technology was in 2014 when the USS Donald Cook’s on-board radar and electronics were jammed, reportedly by a Su-24 jet over the Black Sea.
Back in 2011, a US drone was captured by the Iranian military and whilst there was no official confirmation it is understood that this was downed by an electronic warfare system, provided most likely by Russia.
We have recently also seen a spate of incidents with US warships being hit by cargo vessels which arguably also raises the question of interference utilising such systems.
Russia continues to showcase such advanced technologies in e.g. Syria which has redefined Western attitudes towards foreign policy in the sphere of military intervention and combat. We should also not underestimate the impact that such technologies have had on shaping the multipolar world.