Russia has integrated electronic warfare capabilities into its conventional warfare assets to achieve spectacular results in real battle scenarios such as in Syria, a leading expert on the Kremlin’s armed forces said Monday.
Roger McDermott, a senior research fellow in war studies at King’s College London cited their recent response to a drone swarm attack on a Russian air base and naval facility in Syria, he said, “all were brought down” by conventional air defense or jamming using electronic warfare tools.
In Ukraine, small electronic warfare units of the Russian military have crossed the border to jam the Kiev government’s communications or enhance the fire control of the separatists’ artillery, before pulling back to their own territory shortly after, McDermott said while speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., USNI News reported.
In his recent report on electronic warfare, McDermott noted that Moscow had already begun the integration of its electronic warfare capabilities with conventional military hardware and software when it seized Crimea and Ukraine in 2014. Already in place in each motorized rifle brigade was an EW unit of 150 to 180 non-conscript soldiers engaged in planning and executing missions. In addition, each of the country’s five military districts had an EW element assigned to their headquarters, as do each of the armed forces.
McDermott said the United States and NATO do not have their armed forces organized in that way.
The idea, he said, is to integrate C4ISR [command, control, communications, computers and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance], A2/AD [anti-access/area denial], space, cyber and electronic warfare for offensive and defensive military effect. The Russian military has been at this reform in strategic thinking since 2008.