Russia-Ukraine Lessons to Boost US Electronic Warfare, Sen. Reed Says


Colin Demarest | C4ISRNET - TRANSCEND Media Service

8 Feb 2023 – The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee wants to reimagine how the U.S. military fights, including across the electromagnetic spectrum, and is looking to Ukraine for clues.

“We are in a tremendously dynamic situation, where technology is changing rapidly, techniques are changing rapidly,” Sen. Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, said Feb. 7 at a Defense Writers Group event. “We are truly multidimensional.”

The recent, notable shifts, Reed said, include the Department of Defense’s growing emphasis on space and its investment in electronic warfare, which can be employed to find and fool adversaries and, on the flip side, fend off foreign attempts to do the same.

“How do we operate? All of that has to be reimagined and integrated,” he said. “And the experience in Ukraine is giving us insights for this transformation.”

Electronic warfare is a fight for control of the spectrum, which is used for communications, weapons guidance and situational awareness. While the invisible struggle lacks the spectacle of tanks tearing through town or bombs busting bunkers, the techniques are critical, U.S. military and industry leaders say, as battlefields teem with high-tech, software-first systems.

In the Russia-Ukraine war, now approaching the one-year mark, forces are jumbling communications, jamming GPS signals and more. At least one Ukranian defense official has described the embattled Eastern European country as a “testing ground.”


Colin Demarest is a reporter at C4ISRNET, where he covers military networks, cyber and IT. Colin previously covered the Department of Energy and its National Nuclear Security Administration — namely Cold War cleanup and nuclear weapons development — for a daily newspaper in South Carolina. Colin is also an award-winning photographer.

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