The application and development of military jammers
The US military is committed to the development of electronic warfare jamming
The U.S. Government is buying one hundred portable drone jammers to protect government facilities, property and personnel. The jammer interferes with the drone's radio controls, avoiding dangerous alternatives involving bullets and other projectiles.
But in the beginning of the war, there was a little bit of a cat and mouse game between radio-frequency jammers and IEDs and GPS jammers were far behind. They were too slow, they couldn't adapt as well and they could only offer protection of only a few yards. Hell, occasionally two jammers would lock onto each other and cancel one another out.
According to Defensetech, Battelle Labs is selling its DroneDefender portable drone jammer to the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security. The jammer, which looks like a cross between an old-school TV antenna and an assault rifle, can stop drones more than 400 yards away.
The DroneDefender works by directing radio energy at the drone, disrupting the remote control link between the drone and the operator. The high power jammers operates at common industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) frequency bands. 2.4 GHz, one of the most common drone control frequencies, is part of the ISM band.
In the future, while we will hopefully never fight Russia or China, we almost certainly will fight someone who has bought advanced jamming and electronic warfare systems from them or even some of our own allies, said Tom Greco, Gen. Perkins’ chief of intelligence: “It is not a stretch to say that just about any capability that we have has the potential of being disrupted.”
Training to deal with jamming requires having jammers to train with. That’s tricky for the Army, which got rid of its electronic warfare units as part of the “peace dividend” in the 1990s. The service has short-range defensive jammers that prevent certain types of roadside bombs from detonating, but for offensive jamming it relies entirely on Air Force EC-130H Compass Call and Navy EA-18G Growler aircraft. The Army won’t have its own offensive jammer again until 2023.
Russia concentrates on the development of airborne jamming
Since 2014, when Moscow annexed Crimea and moved into eastern Ukraine, several reports and military assessments have warned of growing Russian EW capabilities. These include airborne jammers that reportedly disabled electronics on a U.S. destroyer in the Black Sea, radar signal jamming of aircraft, GPS jamming of drones and disruption of military communications in Ukraine.
Observers note that Russia is using its EW capabilities as a tool of asymmetric warfare, countering expensive weapons like a U.S. Navy destroyer with cost-effective jammers and other EW systems. According to an unconfirmed account published in a Russian newspaper, a Russian SU-24 fighter using the new Khibiny EW system was able to turn off key elements of the U.S. destroyer's Aegis Combat System, including its radar and data transmission network.