February 21, 2024 Special Dispatch No. 11140

Russian Army Tests Electronic Weapons In Kaliningrad Oblast

February 21, 2024
Russia | Special Dispatch No. 11140

On January 16 – 17, 2024, Global Positioning System (GPS) disturbances were recorded over the eastern territory of Poland, in particular covering the Suwałki Gap.[1] Previously, aircraft flying over the Baltic region reported issues in GPS function.[2] Several media outlets attributed the issues to the Russian Army testing electronic weapons.[3] Local media in Russia's Kaliningrad region confirmed the involvement of the Russian Army and mocked the panic caused by the GPS disruptions in Poland.

On January 16 the Press Service of Russia's Western Military District announced that the Baltic Fleet was carrying out a military drill of protecting  command post from enemy UAV strikes.[4] The exercise made use of electronic warfare (EW) systems RB-341V "Leer-3" complex and "Pantsir-S1" anti-aircraft missile and gun systems. During the exercises, a protective 'dome' with a radius of several dozen kilometers was created by the EW systems. In total, according to the Defense Ministry, the event involved about 100 servicemen and about 10 vehicles. RB-341V "Leer-3" is an electronic warfare system based on the "Orlan-10" UAV. The system allows for the suppression or interference in the GPS system, and imitates the signals of cellular stations in the GSM 900 and GSM 1800 bands, as well as sends false signals.[5]

Preparing to launch the "Leer-3" UAV with aerodynamic interference transmitter. (Source: RIA Novosti / Pavel Lisitzin). The serviceman uses a catapult to launch the UAV.

Local media reported on the GPS interference and confirmed that EW system testing was the cause.[6]

News item by "NIA-Kaliningrad" ("НИА-КАЛИНИНГРАД") media outet, titled "The EW Dome over the Kaliningrad Oblast Reached the Suwalki Corridor." The image depicts a Russian servicemen at the UAV control center. The caption mockingly reads, "There is panic again in Poland. Electronic warfare specialists of the Baltic Fleet again suppressed the GPS navigation signal over half of Poland."

The January 16 EW exercises were not the first to be held in the Kaliningrad region over the last two months. The publication NIA-Kaliningrad noted that the operation of electronic warfare specialists previously caused similar disturbances and jamming. For instance, in the end of January, the local "VESTI Kaliningrad" TV program reported on similar drills aimed at shutting down the radio frequency of a conditional AWACS plane.[7]

Shortwave coastal electronic warfare system "Murmansk BN" (with "KamAZ-5350" base) in service of Russia's Baltic Flee, which participated in military exercises in Kaliningrad Oblast.

As the he war in Ukraine continues and Finland joins NATO, the Kremlin appears to take the issue of EW, and in particular defense against UAVs of a conditional enemy, rather seriously. Additional coastal exercises in Kaliningrad Oblast were held on February 17.[8] This time, the goal was the destruction of command posts and satellite communications nodes of a conditional enemy. The exercises involved the operational-tactical missile system "Iskander-M."










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