Image: US Air Force

What’s New: A commentary published by the UK’s Royal United Services Institute. We have previously posted press reports, though this commentary is a more systematic discussion.

Why It’s Important: This item discusses various ways that Russian tactics could be effective, even in the face of U.S. countermeasures::

  •  Jamming “…the sheer brute force of a powerful jamming signal…”  “…Russian forces may choose to protect potential JDAM targets with multiple jammers, enabling signals to hit the GNSS receiver from two or more directions.”
  • Spoofing/Meaconing “Hypothetically, the M-Code could be modified and retransmitted in such a way as to deceive the JDAM…”

What Else to Know:

  • Russian forces can also be impacted by their own jamming. We have seen evidence that they may sometimes also use GPS on the battlefield. “…Russian Army regularly suffers electromagnetic fratricide…”
  • Jamming is not causing JDAMs to stop working, but it is risking their accuracy – arguably a key selling point of the weapon.”


Jamming JDAM: The Threat to US Munitions from Russian Electronic Warfare

Leaked US documents show that Russian electronic warfare may be having a negative effect on US-supplied Joint Direct Attack Munitions.

The Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) began life in the wake of the US-led Operation Desert Storm which evicted Iraq from Kuwait in 1991. Lessons learned from the campaign by the US armed forces included the need for an all-weather precision munition. The concept would harness the US Global Positioning System (GPS) Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT) satellite constellation. GPS had been a star performer in Desert Storm. Catapulted into the public consciousness, GPS systems used by the Coalition helped weapons find their targets and troops reach their objectives. Since then, GPS has become a standard feature of military and civilian life.