June 25, 2024

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Unpleasant “surprises” for its weapon systems in Ukrainian fields

Unpleasant “surprises” for its weapon systems in Ukrainian fields

The release of $61 billion in US aid in April was a major boost to hard-pressed Ukrainian forces fighting the Russian invasion. But Ukraine is not the only beneficiary of the deal.

Analysts in the United States say They gain invaluable insights into the shortcomings of some of their most important weapons and military production systems.

Since the start of the war in 2022, the United States has been Ukraine’s most important ally, providing a total of $107 billion in aid to the Ukrainian government.

By engaging missiles, drones, and artillery, the United States is gaining valuable insights into its vulnerabilities on the brutal battlefields of eastern and southern Ukraine.

Electronic warfare

One area where the United States has discovered vulnerabilities is electronic warfare. Russian jamming systems create major problems for Western precision weapons. Including GMLRS missiles and Excalibur artillery shells, as Business Insider has already reported.

Russian electronic warfare units are becoming increasingly adept at disabling GPS navigation systems It is used to guide rockets and missiles to their targets, Throw them off course, render them useless.

The war revealed this Some American precision munitions fail in a high-intensity electromagnetic environment.Stacey Pettyjohn, a military analyst at the Center for American Security, told Business Insider:

Better than shelf drones

Instead, cheap, off-the-shelf drones have played a critical role in Ukraine. The Ukrainian army used it to compensate for deficiencies in manpower and equipment against Russia. He also used it to monitor enemy positions, and direct artillery fire while equipping it with grenades or explosives to attack enemy positions.

Problems with quantity

The war in Ukraine revealed problems not only regarding the quality of weapons, but also And on the ability of the United States to produce it in the quantities that Ukraine needs.

For decades, the United States has been preparing for war against militant groups such as the Taliban in Afghanistan. But the The war in Ukraine resembles the conflicts of World War I, with two armies in well-fortified positions firing tens of thousands of rounds Artillery of the day o against each other to exhaust the opponent.

The US Army has not yet adapted.

Instead, Russia has prepared its economy for war, by dramatically increasing the amount of military equipment it can produce, putting Ukraine at a disadvantage.

They remain the best

However, even if the war raised serious questions for Pentagon chiefs, it also demonstrated that many American weapons systems were still vastly superior to those of its adversaries.

US Patriot air defense systems protected Ukrainian cities from massive Russian missile and drone attacks. Although some have been intercepted, long-range HIMARS are still wreaking havoc behind Russia’s front lines.

Meanwhile, the Switchblade 600 explosive drone has been an important weapon for Ukraine in targeting Russian artillery and forces, according to reports.

High cost

But one of the problems facing American air defense systems is this The missiles cost much more than the cheap drones often used to drop them; This presents American weapons designers with another problem to deal with, Pettyjohn said.

“Firing expensive missiles against drones and cheap missiles is not a sustainable strategy Or a strategy that allows the United States to win these battles that require patience.”

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The main lesson, Pettyjohn said, is that quantity matters as much as quality.