Signaling that modern warfare between developed nations would come with a heavy focus on destroying information technology infrastructure, Russian state-run media is touting the country’s ability to disable U.S. military assets electronically.
The Russian propaganda report claimed that some Russian war planes are already equipped with jamming devices capable of rendering electronic-based military equipment useless.
“Today, our Russian Electronic Warfare (REW) troops can detect and neutralize any target from a ship’s system and a radar, to a satellite,” one report claimed.
The Russian propaganda also included claims (which remain unverified by the Pentagon) that Russian fighter planes were able to disable systems on the USS Donald Cook, crippling the ship’s capabilities, during a 2014 encounter in the Black Sea.
Based on Russia’s amped up focus on electronic warfare capabilities stemming back to the Cold War, that the country has the technology to jam and destroy critical infrastructures is not only plausible but very likely.
Here’s what U.S. defense contractor Leonardo DRS has to say about Russia’s capabilities:
The Russians now have a full Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership & Education, Personnel, and Facilities (DOTMLPF) Electronic Warfare Capability, based around the doctrine of Radio Electronic Combat (REC). “REC combined signals intelligence, direction finding, intensive jamming, deception, and destructive fires to attack enemy organizations and systems through their means of control. The purpose of REC is to limit, delay, or nullify the enemy’s use of his command and control systems, while protecting Russian systems by electronic counter-countermeasures. An estimated goal of the system is to destroy or to disrupt a majority of the enemy’s command, control, and weapon system communications, either by jamming or by destructive fires…
Russia’s boast about its electronic warfare capabilities follows news that U.S. officials are getting serious about protecting the U.S. from the growing probability of an attack on the homeland designed to shut down communication assets, the electric grid and other critical infrastructure.
As we reported last week:
Currently the Pentagon’s tech development wing, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), is working with BAE Systems to develop a system that would identify major targets of an attack and reroute military and civilian vital infrastructure to minimize damage.
DARPA’s Rapid Attack Detection, Isolation and Characterization Systems (RADICS) project is in the early stages of development and not likely to be ready for use until around 2020.
Meanwhile, a number of private sector companies are also innovating in the rapidly growing infrastructure defense industry with the backing of some of the nation’s wealthiest investors. Learn more about those efforts to avert a grid-down crisis.