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What’s New: Discussion of whether spectrum/ electronic warfare should be its own warfighting domain. Experience in Ukraine seems to indicate “yes.”

Why It’s Important: While this may seem a sterile intellectual question, such definitions have important implications in the real world.  Among them are dedicated military commands and budgets that focus on maintaining U.S. dominance in each.

What Else to Know:

  • The five warfare domains identified by the U.S. military are land, sea, air, space, and information (cyber).
  • Interesting quote from the article:

“For decades … when we talked about war, we talked about precision strike, and we never really thought we would be talking about a war where we didn’t have precision. But lo and behold, the West became really, really dependent on precision by GPS — and now those are being jammed,”



Daily Fight for Ukraine Spectrum Superiority Puts Electronic Warfare Front, Center

By Stew Magnuson

The hapless Russian soldier in a film clip shown at a recent industry trade show was — ironically perhaps — setting up a jammer when a Ukrainian soldier remotely operating a drone spied him from above.

The Russian apparently didn’t flip the switch on the device in time to block the drone’s signals. The Ukrainian soldier watching through a pair of goggles kilometers away dispatched a grenade, destroying the jammer and presumably taking the Russian permanently off the battlefield as another of that day’s casualties.

The traits of war are easy to spot in eastern Ukraine. Trenches protect troops squaring off with Russian forces. Long-range artillery is both seen and heard. Burned out fighting vehicles litter the landscape and several Russian ships are now at the bottom of the Black Sea.

What isn’t seen is the minute-by-minute battle over the electromagnetic spectrum. Russian-made Pole-21 and RP-377 jammers are intended to thwart Ukrainian small drone attacks. U.S. Air Force GPS satellites fly overhead as Russian forces attempt to block their signals.

Remote-controlled kamikaze drones connect back via radio waves to Ukrainian soldiers wearing goggles that help guide the loitering munitions to targets. The jammers attempt to stop them.

Battlefield control over the electromagnetic spectrum — also known as electronic warfare — is becoming more crucial as modern militaries observe what is happening in Ukraine.

Experts are now debating whether it should be elevated to a “warfighting domain” — on par with land, air, sea, space and cyberspace.