Russia’s $42M EW System did not Work in Nagorno-Karabakh: Armenian PM Complains

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A Russian-made “Repellent” Electronic Warfare (EW) System deployed by Armenia to defend the skies over Nagorno-Karabakh simply did not work, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said during a radio address on Tuesday.

While he did not mention the EW system by name not its origin, Armenia had purchased a Russian-made “Repellent” EW system in 2017. He however, praised another Russian-made system, the anti-aircraft missile systems “Osa-AK,” which, according to the Pashinyan, “hit many targets during the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, and during the July escalation in Tavush downed an Azerbaijan’s Israeli-built Hermes 900 drone.”

A drone, possibly Turkey’s Bayraktar TB2 that was extensively used by Azeri forces, however managed to destroy the anti-drone “Repellent” near the disputed border, Russia’s Avia.pro had reported. Yerevan has neither denied nor confirmed the allegations.

Military experts believe that the drone may have managed to “hide” behind other equipment, just like how a U.S. reconnaissance plane flying in Chinese airspace was “masked” by a civilian one few months ago.

Rosoboronexport markets the system as an “EW complex designed to destroy small-sized UAVs.” It is available in both mobile and stationary versions. Features include detection and tracking of UAVs; UAV signal parameters tracking; electronic suppression of UAVs data transmission and control channels and ground control stations; UAV satellite navigation receiver jamming; and more.

Another Russian EW System, Krasukha, deployed around the sensitive Gyumri base in Armenia, is claimed to have shot down at least 9 Bayraktar drones, besides Israeli Harop loitering munitions. It has also successfully defended Russia’s Hmeymim Air Base in Syria.

Built by KRET, the broadband multifunctional jamming station was designed primarily to protect areas in and around Russia’s military bases where its powerful transmitter can blank out airborne radars.  The Russians, however, have also reportedly found Krakuska useful in counteracting armed drones.