Russia has claimed it can disable the entire US Navy in one fell swoop using powerful electronic signal jamming.
A news report from the country – where the media is essentially controlled by the state – said the technology could render planes, ships and missiles useless.
The newsreader says: “Today, our Russian Electronic Warfare (REW) troops can detect and neutralise any target from a ship’s system and a radar, to a satellite.”
The news report claims a single Russian war plane flew several times around American destroyer the USS Donald Cook in the Black Sea several years ago, disabling its systems and leaving it helpless.
The report also claims they are capable to creating electronic jamming domes over their bases that make them invisible on radar screens.
The propaganda piece even quotes top US General Frank Gorenc as saying: “Russian electronic weapons completely paralyse the functioning of American electronic equipment installed on missiles, aircraft and ships.”
The reporter adds: “You don’t need to have expensive weapons to win – powerful radio-electronic jamming is enough.”
The news comes after Donald Trump dispatched the USS Carl Vinson, powered by nuclear reactors, carrying almost 100 aircraft and accompanied by destroyers, a cruiser, and a submarine to the Korean Peninsula.
And the commander-in-chief is said to be bolstering American deployment in the region by sending the USS Ronald Reagan and the USS Nimitz to the Sea of Japan next week.
Russia, along with China, is said to have sent a spy ship to the area to ward off the task force amid rising tensions in the region.
And Putin urged the US to show “restraint”.
Meanwhile, in response to this story, Popular Mechanics reports that there is no electronic bomb.
The Russian TV report is an explainer on Russian Electronic Warfare (REW) troops, which the reporter claims can “neutralize any target” from “a ship’s system to a radar to a satellite.” This apparently includes synthetic aperture radars on NATO satellites, aircraft, and other platforms, which can form images of targets in the air and on the ground using radar waves. In this case, “neutralizing” doesn’t mean blowing something to bits, but rather jamming its radar sensors to effectively render it blind.
The Russian news report concludes with the bombastic line, “You don’t need to have expensive weapons to win – powerful radio-electronic jamming is enough.” That claim isn’t supported by the actual report, which says REW systems can only shut down enemy radars and hide friendly forces. To actually win a war, you need to kill the enemy and break stuff—something radio waves can’t do.
The Russian television and Sun tabloid story are both blends of real and fake news. Russia’s electronic warfare troops do indeed have some powerful electronic warfare systems—but pay no mind to oddball claims that they can make enemy sailors resign out of sheer fear or win wars singlehandedly.