Krasukha 4 Mobile Ground-based Electronic Warfare System
Krasukha 4 Mobile Ground-based Electronic Warfare System

Ukrainian Army Captured Russian Krasukha 4 Ground-based Electronic Warfare System

The Ukrainian Army captured the control unit of the mobile, ground-based, electronic warfare (EW) system Krasukha 4 of the Russian Armed Forces near the capital Kyiv. According to Ukraine Weapons Tracker, the seized system is defined as a control unit of the Russian electronic warfare system 1RL257 Krasukha-4. The Krasukha has multiple applications in the Russian Armed Forces. Since the invasion of Ukraine has begun, Russian Armed Forces have been severely hit and have lost or abandoned several weapons in the Ukrainian territory. These include Russian tanks, armored vehicle, munitions, and even drones. What isn’t clear is why Russian troops have abandoned the system.

The Krasukha (Belladonna or Deadly Nightshade) is a Russian mobile, ground-based, electronic warfare (EW) system. This system is produced by the KRET corporation on different wheeled platforms. The Krasukha’s primary targets are airborne radio-electronics (such drone) and airborne systems guided by radar. The Krasukha-4 broadband multifunctional jamming station is mounted on a BAZ-6910-022 four-axle-chassis. Like the Krasukha-2, the Krasukha-4 counters AWACS and other airborne radar systems. The Krasukha-4 has the range effectively to disrupt low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites and can cause permanent damage to targeted radio-electronic devices. Ground based radars are also a viable target for the Krasukha-4.

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The Krasukha-4 has an operational range of 186 miles and is designed to target radio-electronic systems of airborne systems such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as well as missile systems. The mobile system can be deployed to jam ground-based large radars and shield Russian assets from surveillance systems. Additionally, the system can also counter airborne warning and control systems (AWACS) that U.S.-led allies of Ukraine use on their drones as well as spy satellites. Strategically, placing the system near the capital system of Kyiv makes sense as the protection offered would help in keeping the Russian advance a surprise. It could also be positioned to block surveillance being conducted by NATO forces, even as they have stopped flying over Ukrainian airspace.

Krasukha jammers were reportedly deployed to support Russian forces in Syria. They have reportedly been blocking small U.S. surveillance drones from receiving GPS satellite signals. During the Turkish intervention in the Syrian civil war, the complex apparently destroyed a Bayraktar drone by causing it to lose control, subsequently crashing. In July 2018, an OSCE monitoring mission drone recorded a 1L269 Krasukha-2 among other electronic warfare equipment deployed near Chornukhyne, Ukraine. Reportedly, Krasukha is operating around the Russian military base at Gyumri in Armenia to counter the use by Azerbaijan of Turkish-made Bayraktar armed drones as well as Israel-made Harop loitering munition (suicide drones).

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