Ukrainians seized Russian "gold mine" PHOTO
Ukrainian forces seized a "container" on Tuesday, which could be a potential gold mine of information for Western intelligence services.Source: B92
It is likely to be the command post of one of the most potent Russian EW system - 1RL257 Krasukha-4, used to suppress AWACS radars & radar reconnaissance satellites.
Krasukha-4 is primarily designed to detect and interfere with large radars, such as those on early warning and control aircraft, such as the E-3 Centers of the US Air Force and spy satellites.
The command container was allegedly found outside the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. Twitter user @UAWeapons was among the first to identify it as the most likely component of the Krasukha-4 EW system (also known for its 1RL257 nomenclature) based on a photo that appeared on the Internet.
The complete Krasukha-4 system consists of two vehicles, both based on the 8x8 KAMAZ-6350 truck, one with an electronic warfare system (EW) and the other with a command post module, writes The War Zone.
#Ukraine: We managed to identify this bizarre "container", captured today by the UA forces near #Kyiv.— 🇺🇦 Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) March 22, 2022
It is likely to be the command post of one of the most potent Russian EW system - 1RL257 Krasukha-4, used to suppress AWACS radars & radar reconnaissance satellites. pic.twitter.com/1VvKjGoM2p
Significant loss for the Russians
It remains unknown what could have happened to the truck transporting this container or to its passenger equipped with the EW system. The photo of the container shows it lying on its side with tree branches on top, but it is not clear whether this reflects a deliberate attempt to hide or just the place where it remained after an attack or accident.
There are other fallen branches and remains around it. The module of the command post was damaged, along the part of the lower edge of the frame, and the access door on the visible side is missing. Despite the above, it seems to be in relatively good condition, at least on the outside. The loss of even half of the Krasukha-4 system could be significant for Russian forces from an operational perspective. Although its development began in the late 1990s, this is still one of the most capable mobile EW systems of the Russian military, and its serial production began only in the early 2000s.
It was developed as part of a larger project of field systems to protect Russian property on the ground and in the air from the prying eyes of various ground and air surveillance and recording radars, along with certain radars equipped with intelligence-gathering satellites.
Highly versatile system
Russian officials have previously claimed that Krasukha-4 can detect and interfere with various types of radar, including surveillance radars, airborne radar sensors, and active radar trackers and altimeters found in missiles. It has a stated maximum range against ground and air targets between 150 and 300 kilometers in any direction, depending on various environmental factors, according to the manufacturer, the Russian concern KRET. It is not entirely clear whether this maintains a range at which radars can be detected, turned on, or both.
There are reports that the Krasukha-4 jamming system may emit beams of radio frequency energy strong enough to physically damage sensitive electronic systems at certain targets. Positioning the Krasukha-4 system near Kyiv would make sense to make it harder for Ukrainian forces and their international partners to find and target Russian troops in the area via radar, where fighting has been going on for weeks. By its nature, the system must have some degree of passive detection capability, which would allow it to be used in a general surveillance role, watching for potential threats, such as fighter jet radar or anti-aircraft missile systems.
Discussions about the capabilities of this system generally do not present it as an anti-communication tool, with the Russian military setting up a number of other EW systems for this purpose, but it seems possible that it has some secondary capabilities in this regard.
It was rarely used during the conflict with Ukraine
In addition, Krasukha-4 is a mobile, multi-purpose system that can move relatively quickly, depending on the changing situation on the ground, to provide valuable EW support in another part of the Ukrainian battlefield.
These systems could potentially be set up in certain areas of Ukraine and neighboring Belarus to try to blind various types of foreign manned aircraft and drones operating from NATO or international airspace security.
It is worth mentioning that, despite Russia's significant EW capabilities, the Russian military has rarely used systems such as Krasukha-4 in its invasion of Ukraine. This may be due in part to concerns about the loss or seizure of these systems.
A treasure trove of information for Western intelligence services
Nevertheless, apart from the immediate implications of losing part of the Krasukha-4 system, if Ukrainian forces can safely return this command post module, it could provide a significant source of intelligence to the country's authorities and their foreign partners. Intelligence agencies in the United States and other countries in the West would no doubt want to seize this container to see what can be extracted from it.
Revealing more details about the capabilities of the Krasukha-4 system could help, among other things, in developing countermeasures. The software that runs the system could also be just as valuable as the hardware, and could lead to the discovery of holes that could be used for cyber warfare purposes.
A deeper analysis of the individual components of the command post, down to things like the wiring design inside, could offer other insights, including Russia’s ability to actually produce advanced EW systems and other electronics. Any documents or other items within this container command post could also provide a wealth of information on a variety of topics.