Russia is Testing New Electronic Warfare Weapons on NATO Ships – Is it Testing Murmansk-bn and Rychag-AV?

  • Russia is testing Electronic Warfare weapons near the Black Sea.
  • Russia has been increasing its weapons near the Crimea region.
  • NATO ships experienced GPS signal jamming near Russia's maritime border.

NATO ships approaching Russia’s Maritime borders, specifically the Black Sea region, are unable to conduct reconnaissance due to the counteraction of coastal electronic warfare (EW) Russia is currently testing.

There are three areas of the Electronic warfare:

1) Radio-electronic defeat is a set of measures and actions for functional defeat, radio-electronic suppression and defeat of radio-electronic objects of the enemy by homing weapons for radiation.


2) Electronic protection is a set of measures and actions to eliminate or mitigate the effects on their electronic and information technology facilities electronic defeat the enemy, to counter the technical means of reconnaissance of the enemy and to ensure the electromagnetic compatibility of their electronic equipment.

3) Electronic information management is a set of measures and actions for revealing of the functioning of electronic and information technology enemy targets for their electronic failure, and to control the operation of their electronic and information technology features for electronic protection.

Russia is utilizing the second area. NATO is not an enemy and the testing is designed to create blackouts in the region benefitting Russia.

KRET helicopter.

The latest Russian electronic warfare systems are tested in real conditions in the area of the Black Sea. The equipment tested made intelligence equipment fail by confusing the settings of navigation systems producing flawed coordinates. This causes real disorientation for the crew. It would mean NATO ships wouldn’t be able to complete their mission near Russian maritime borders, and it makes Russia more dangerous.

It is plausible there are two systems being tested:

1) Murmansk-bn is the ground-based electronic warfare system designed to suppress short-wave radio communications of the enemy at long distances. In its expanded form, the complex covers an area of 640,000 square meters, and its telescopic hydraulic antenna masts rise to 32 m.


2) EW aircraft produced by KRET equipped with the most interesting ctive jamming station “Rychag-AV.” The Mi-8MTPR-1 jamming helicopter provides group protection of its own front-line aviation by electronic suppression of enemy aircraft radars and anti- aircraft systems. According to official statements of representatives of CONCERN, the range of such stations is up to several hundred kilometers.

There is also an Il-22PP “Porubchik” jamming aircraft. Its radio-electronic equipment was also created by KRET enterprises, a Russian leader in the Electronic warfare space.

This is not a favorable situation for Ukraine, since the strengthening of the Russian Navy presence in Crimea could cause adverse effects for Ukraine’s safety. Russia’s desire to jam GPS signals is also dangerous for the civilian sphere (cargo ships) and could lead to possible large scale casualties. It is unsafe when a crew gets disoriented due to false coordinates.

It is clear that Russia continues to forge ahead with electronic warfare. Unfortunately, GPS is vulnerable to such tech and the signal blackout and meddling will only escalate.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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