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Ukraine conflict: Ukraine's electronic warfare systems in focus

The Bukovel-AD system is intended to be used primarily as a counter-UAV system. (Mikhail Zhirohov)

The Ukrainian armed forces have acquired and fielded a range of electronic warfare (EW) systems in recent years, with a mix of new equipment and improved legacy systems.

Most of the development has taken place since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, and was driven by its support for the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, which has seen Russian forces employ a range of EW assets.

Counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (C-UAV), direction finding, communications jamming, and precision-guided weapon jamming capabilities have been developed. Among these is the Bukovel-AD anti-UAV system, which was developed specifically to counter the Orlan-10 UAV that is employed as an EW asset to intercept and jam 3G, 4G, and Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) cellular communications, as well as to broadcast text messages.

Developed by Proximus – a private Ukrainian company – the Bukovel-AD can detect UAVs operating as far away as 100 km, with an effective range of up to 50 km. On detection of the UAV, the system can employ radio frequency (RF) countermeasures that are designed to interfere with the datalink between the UAV and its ground control station (GCS). It can jam the Global Positioning System (GPS) and Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) control and navigation signals, with a maximum suppression range of 16 km. During the Russian troop buildup ahead of its invasion of Ukraine, the Bukovel-AD was deployed in the Donbas region and tested against the Orlan-10.

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