The Pentagon has delivered “threat emitters” to Ukraine to help deceive Russian fighter jets.
The training tool emits radio frequency signals, imitating air-defense and anti-aircraft artillery radar systems, helping pilots identify hostile signatures and hone their skills to defeat them.
In a real-life scenario, the emitters confuse pilots as to which is a real electromagnetic signal and which is fake.
Joint Threat Emitter
Northrop Grumman’s Joint Threat Emitter, operational with the US military, can also respond to aircraft countermeasures, allowing rapid relocation and reprogramming with new threat parameters.
The system comprises a command and control unit and a threat emitter unit. Each command unit can control 12 emitters. Each emitter can replicate six threats simultaneously.
These “low-cost emitters were built for ranges inside the US but now are in the hands of Ukrainians,” US Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown told Aviation Week.
Innovative Ways to Help Ukraine
Brown said the system is the latest innovative Pentagon effort to help Ukraine resist Russia’s invasion.
He cited the example of modifying the AGM-88 High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile to work with the Ukraine Air Force’s Soviet-origin MiG-29, a feat considered too difficult at the onset.
“So there are ways to work with industry and those who actually build systems to figure out the details and move forward in certain areas because of a need and driving a sense of urgency,” he said.
The Ukrainians have also invented ways to enhance weapon efficiency and survivability.
In one such asymmetric tactic, the Ukrainian armed forces reportedly used wooden replicas of the US-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket System to trick the Russians into wasting expensive missiles on the decoys.