The Southern Military District will be armed with some of the most effective and multifunctional electronic warfare stations. The newest complex “Palantin” is capable of suppressing not only cellular and radio communications, but also drone control channels. Freely sold in stores or assembled from available parts, UAVs have already established themselves as dangerous weapons in the hands of terrorists. The complex will also be able to combine other electronic warfare equipment into a single network, making them more effective. According to experts, such systems are defensive weapons.
A fundamental decision was made to equip all EW army battalions in the Southern Military District with the latest Palantin complexes, sources in the defense department told Izvestia. They are designed to suppress military radio communications and drones, including small ones. Their versatility also allows them to jam radio relay stations and satellite ground terminals.
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According to the press service of the Ministry of Defense, “Palantin” was first tested a year ago at an exercise near Voronezh. With its help, the battalion tactical group of electronic warfare trained to suppress communications in a zone of up to 1,000 km and to protect troops from the use of high-precision weapons of a conventional enemy.
As Izvestia previously reported, other modern electronic warfare systems are also being supplied to the Southern Military District. So, in the near future it is planned to transport additional helicopters of electronic warfare Mi-8MTPR-1 with the “Lever-AV” system. They are designed to cover aircraft from enemy radars and to protect against anti-aircraft and aircraft missiles.
“It’s no secret that Palantin was created, first of all, to counteract the latest NATO military communication systems,” military expert Vladislav Shurygin told Izvestia. – But the complex turned out to be so versatile that it can perform other tasks. Its ability to “jam” drones of any class will be especially in demand.
One should not be surprised at the saturation of the Southern Military District with the latest electronic warfare equipment, the expert said. It is here that most of the points of collision of interests of Russia with the West, as well as with the post-Soviet states. Suffice it to mention Crimea, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. At the same time, electronic warfare means are defensive weapons and do not pose an immediate threat, Vladislav Shurygin emphasized.
The newest “Palatines” have been arriving in the troops since 2018. The mobile complex is located on several four-axle chassis of the KamAZ truck. From a transport position to a combat position, it can be deployed in half an hour.
According to the developers, the machine is able to “jam” the channels of cellular and trunking communications, to drown out tactical radio communications of the enemy in the range of ultrashort and short waves. The most important feature of the complex is the ability to effectively act against modern and promising radio stations that are able to flexibly change their frequencies and algorithms of work – the so-called software-defined radio systems (SDR). Older electronic warfare systems cannot effectively counter them.
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Equipment and new software “Palantinov” allows receiving and integrating information from various electronic warfare and radio intelligence facilities and transmitting it to higher headquarters. As a result, they can monitor online the situation on the air and make a decision on the synchronized use of various electronic warfare machines.
According to the Ministry of Defense, the complex can operate both in broadband mode and set targeting interference for specific directions and characteristics of the radio signal, which allows it to work in a variety of conditions. You can suppress an entire area, or counteract a specific transmitter or receiver.
The machine combines the functions of electronic intelligence and radio suppression. So, for example, studying the radio broadcast, she can not only detect the presence of a nearby drone, but also calculate the approximate coordinates of its operator, and then drown out the control signal between him and the drone, making the device helpless.
First of all, the complexes presented in 2016 were received by the Tambov Interspecies Center for the Training and Combat Use of Electronic Warfare. In 2019, they entered the 24th separate electronic warfare battalion of the Western Military District, which became a pilot in their development. It was also reported about plans by the end of this year to equip one of the electronic warfare units of the Eastern Military District in Transbaikalia with the Palantin.
Small drones are big problems
– Electronic warfare equipment with the capabilities of the “Palantina” is an important element of protection against drones, – says military historian Dmitry Boltenkov. – The war in Karabakh brought the problem of fighting them to a new level. Today, even the countries that are not the most advanced in equipping with military equipment can have a fleet of the most dangerous attack UAVs and small kamikaze drones. It is difficult, if not impossible, to counter them with obsolete weapons.
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But military models are not the only danger now. Freely sold in stores or assembled from available parts, UAVs have already proven themselves to be a dangerous weapon. In Iraq and Syria, the ISIS terrorist group (banned in Russia) has widely used dozens of inexpensive Chinese-made drones to drop small bombs. This was enough to injure and kill the military, and in some cases disable armored vehicles, the expert said.
In October 2017, in Syria, by dropping bombs simultaneously from several drones, terrorists managed to start a fire that destroyed a large-scale ammunition depot of government forces. It was organized by the advancing troops in the bowl of the football stadium near Deir ez-Zor.
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reports that since January 2018, militants with homemade UAV bombers have been regularly trying to break through in Syria to the Russian bases of Khmeimim and Tartus and attack the planes and ships located there. The most massive raid of 13 drones was reflected by the joint actions of air defense and electronic warfare systems. Seven units were shot down by Shell missiles, the rest were forcibly planted by experts in electronic warfare. The wreckage of these drones was shown by the Ministry of Defense at a special briefing.
In the autumn conflict in Karabakh, both Armenia and Azerbaijan used multicopters with explosives suspended from them as unmanned kamikazes to attack infantry clusters. The Russian defense department reported last year that the “Palantines” were practicing during the exercises, including the scenario of suppressing such targets.