Russia Jamming US-Delivered ‘Smart’ Munitions in Ukraine

Russian forces are electronically jamming US “smart” bombs in Ukraine, making them miss their targets, Politico reported, citing recently leaked documents corroborated by a Department of Defense official.

The Joint Direct Attack Munition-Extended Range (JDAM-ER) is a guidance kit that turns an unguided air-dropped bomb into a precision munition.

The system uses an inertial navigation system and global positioning system guidance control to guide a bomb to a target up to 45 miles (72 kilometers) away.

GPS Jamming

According to Politico, Russian forces have employed GPS jammers that interfere with the weapon’s targeting process. 

The jamming has impacted other US weapons being deployed in Ukraine, such as guided rockets, the outlet added.

“I do think there may be a concern that the Russians may be jamming the signal used to direct the JDAMs, which would answer why these munitions are not performing in the manner expected and how they perform in other war zones,” Politico quoted a former Pentagon official and retired CIA officer Mick Mulroy as saying.

Apart from the electronic interference, the JDAM-ER’s “higher than expected” failure rate is also due to its fuse’s failure to detonate the bomb. However, the problem has been addressed.

Documents Cast Doubt on Ukraine’s Ability

The revelation adds to greater US concerns over Ukraine’s military ability that were reflected in the leaked classified documents last week.

The trove of classified documents posted online reveal Washington’s doubts about Ukraine’s ability to make significant gains in an expected counter-offensive against Russia.

The documents detail Ukrainian ammunition, training, and air defense deficiencies.

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