WASHINGTON — The US military has for weeks been training Ukrainian forces in US tactics, but the commander of US Army Europe says Ukrainian forces, who are fighting Russian-backed separatists, have much to teach their US trainers.
Ukrainian forces have grappled with formidable Russian electronic warfare capabilities that analysts say would prove withering even to the US ground forces. The US Army has also jammed insurgent communications from the air and ground on a limited basis, and it is developing a powerful arsenal of jamming systems, but these are not expected until 2023.
For the most part, the US has relied on airborne electronic attack, from its EA-6B Prowler and EA-18G Growler aircraft. While those are tasked primarily with jamming enemy air defenses, they have a robust capability to jam other radio frequency emitters.
The short range jammers used in Iraq and Afghanistan have mostly been for self defense. But countering a foe like Russia or other near peer powers would require more powerful, and simultaneously more discrete jammers. One issue is that while you’re jamming the enemy, you need to be sure you’re not denying the useful parts of the RF spectrum to yourself.