TechUkraine's new precision weapon falls short against Russian tech

Ukraine's new precision weapon falls short against Russian tech

GMLRS launch - illustrative photo
GMLRS launch - illustrative photo
Images source: © Adobe Stock | launcher, firing, combat proven, atacms, munitions, lockheed martin, lethal and responsive, himars, all weather, future multiple

5:18 AM EDT, May 3, 2024

The Pentagon report from May 1 reveals that a weapon developed specifically for Ukraine is losing its effectiveness on the battlefield, according to the Bulgarian Military portal. This decline in utility is attributed to the American weapon's vulnerability to Russian electronic warfare capabilities.

Though the report withholds the identity of the underperforming weapon, it is described as "precision armament" tailored to the requirements of the Ukrainian armed forces. A Pentagon official, Bill LaPlante, conceded at an event that the ground-launched version of this armament was ineffective.

Identifying the problematic weapon

The Pentagon has not explicitly named the weapon in question. However, experts like Brian Clark, a research fellow at the Hudson Institute, have voiced their opinions. Clark suspects that the weapon mentioned in the American report might be the GLSDB, a modern armament initiated last year and deployed in Ukraine in early 2024.

According to American claims, the GLSDB, a weapon uniquely developed for Ukraine and absent from the USA's arsenal, was aimed at significantly boosting Ukraine's combat capabilities. With a range of approximately 93 miles from ground launch—almost double that of the older GMLRS missiles used by Ukraine—the GLSDB boasts improved accuracy and strength. Its precision allows Ukrainian forces to execute targeted strikes deep into enemy lines.

However, the effectiveness of such precise and potent attacks hinges on the weapon's resilience against electronic warfare systems. Clark points out a potential vulnerability of the GLSDB to such systems. The missile, nearly 13 feet long and weighing about 661 pounds, could be susceptible to Russian countermeasures.
Analysts from Bulgarian Military have highlighted the formidable effectiveness of the Russian Federation's electronic warfare systems, specifically mentioning the Pole-21 system. Operational since 2019, Pole-21 can disrupt satellite and Starlink network communications with a jamming signal ranging from 300 to 1000 watts. This capability enables the disruption of mobile and radio communications, rendering weapons like the GLSDB and commonly used frontline drones virtually ineffective.
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