Russia has found a way to interfere with GPS-guided artillery rounds, including munitions for US-made HIMARS multiple rocket launchers, Defense Minister of Ukraine Aleksey Reznikov has claimed.
When those systems first arrived on Ukrainian battlefields last year they were “highly accurate,” Reznikov recalled, in an interview with the Financial Times on Wednesday.
However, Russia, which has strong radio-electronic systems, eventually found a way to jam GPS-guided artillery and HIMARS projectiles, he acknowledged.
“It’s like a constant pendulum. This is a war of technology,” the minister said, describing the ongoing conflict between Kiev and Moscow.
“The Russians come up with a countermeasure, we inform our partners and they make a new countermeasure against this countermeasure,” he explained.
Reznikov reiterated Kiev’s earlier claim that “for the military industry of the world, you can’t invent a better testing ground” than Ukraine.
Kiev’s Western backers “can actually see if their weapons work, how efficiently they work and if they need to be upgraded”, he said.
Ukraine has been supplied with several dozen High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), which have a range of 85 kilometers (53 miles), by its foreign backer since June last year. Western outlets described the system as a game-changer in the conflict.
In May, CNN reported, citing five sources from the US, Britain and Ukraine, that the US-designed multiple rocket launchers had been rendered “increasingly less effective” from the intensive blocking by the Russian forces. The electronic jammers throw off the GPS-guided targeting system of HIMARS rockets to cause them to miss their targets, the channel said.
Throughout the conflict, the Russian Defense Ministry reported destroying dozens of HIMARS systems through the use of kamikaze drones and artillery fire. However, these claims have been disputed by Kiev and Washington.
Moscow has repeatedly warned that deliveries of more sophisticated weapons to Ukraine by the US and its allies could cross its ‘red lines’ and lead to a major escalation of hostilities. According to the Russian side, the supply of arms, intelligence sharing and training to Kiev’s troops already means that Western nations are de facto parties to the conflict.