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09 February 2017


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Up front admitting to amateur status on this. Back when I was recruiting folks for developing these type systems at Lock Mart, the bywords were nothing trumps radiative power. The old Mig-25 was a primary example in that it had a massive radar, so strong that it would "burn through" any attempt to jam it. I don't have the source now but senior Navy personnel expressed a lot of doubt regarding the Cook/SU-24 jamming incident based on the sheer mismatch in radiative power between an Arleigh Burke mounted Aegis system and what could be mounted on the SU-24. But, I have not seen a lot of follow up on these subjects.


These accounts are mostly if not wholly fiction. ECM has significant tactical value, but the claims made are in the realm of fantasy.

Let's just take a look at the Turkish F-16's. They have 4 options to shoot down another aircraft:
- Guns
- IR Missiles
- SAR Missile
- Active Radar Missile.

ECM can do nothing about the first two options. For the second two, ECM based hundreds of miles away does not have the power to do what is claimed because of the laws of physics. Even an ECM suite on Erogan's plane would be hard pressed to prevent a radar engagement of a large, slow-moving aircraft.

Any talk of "technology that renders all missile systems, nuclear or conventional, useless" is a complete fantasy.



Thanks for drawing attention to this subject. I have been reading stories like that for a long time on other sites, the credibility of which I could not verify. I hope this site can shed some light on this. I guess we all know for sure once some undebatable incident happens, which hopefully will be never.



@Andy, it is highly dangerous to assume any advanced technology is complete fantasy. examples of "complete. fantasy" from my youth: dick tracy's wrist radio, GPS, stealth aircraft, carbon fibre and most advances in genetics.

i think what you really mean is that the Russians may have some capability that we don't, or if we do, it's classified.

Ishmael Zechariah

re: "While enroute to the capital his plane was "locked onto" by two Turkish F-16's. Despite locking onto Erdogan's jet the Turkish fighter pilots could not fire and bring it down - for whatever reason. "
I can confirm this information.
A strange game is on. Quite a few of us seculars believe that the coup was US based, based on evidence similar to the set you used about Russian "hacking". The Russians might have saved tayyip but they also destroyed his (personal) tanker fleet and have been putting the screws on the Turkish economy. The delusional idiot, once the darling of neocons, is learning what real power is.
Ishmael Zechariah



Technology development is only accelerating. Look how far mobile computing, robtics, autonomous systems and biotechnology have gone just in the past two decades. There's over 400 companies who have been funded just in the SF Bay area to develop and commercialize machine intelligence. It should be no surprise that military technology will also be on a similar curve.

The issue we face is that our defense development and procurement has become one massive ripoff boondoggle where outcomes don't matter only the sheer scale of expenditures and the fiefdoms they sustain. Pigging at the trough is the primary objective. I was involved with a company that was a technology supplier to the NSA's Trailblazer program. A multi-billion dollar boondoggle that enriched Booz Allen and all the others. At least it got canned after only a few billion spent.

It is not just in military procurement, our health care & education spend is substantially higher than the OECD mean with terrible outcomes. Our system is now so geared towards high spend with poor results. That's why nimbler nations run circles around us while spending a fraction of what we do. One day when the gravy train ends there will be lot of wailing. But in the mean time there are many who continue to claim that government spending to infinity have no deleterious effects and will lead to economic nirvana. As our recent election showed there are many Americans who are not ascending to that fabled nirvana.

Yeah, Right

The first two posts assume that the Russians are using some kind of jammer, which inevitably is going to be futile because of the mismatch in radiative power.

That may not necessarily be the case.

The USA now places so much emphasis on the "multidimensional battlespace" and on weapons-systems that constantly shares data between planes or between ships.

Isn't it possible that this is the point of weakness that the Russians can exploit e.g. hack into those networks and insert their own commands into them?

So rather than throw an electromagnetic blanket over those planes or ships the Russians may be doing something much more elegant - something akin to reaching behind the backs of their opponent and flicking the "off" switch.



No idea. Good question. I prefer the age of sail. Have you read any of the Patrick O'Brien se novels. Mauisurfer - I wish you joy of your command! pl


TTG, the rumors in Iran is, that Erdogan flew to Tabriz in waiting there for a all clear safe signal to fly back to Turkey. I don't know true or not but if Turkish skies were not safe for his plane for few hours that make sense.

Babak Makkinejad

I think since neither the Russian Federation nor the United States have any viable strategic options against each other their confrontations will always be tactical.

I also think that sufficient number of tactical gains can cause strategic gains.


Yes, it is a fantasy:
- They did not "abruptly" leave, the returned from scheduled deployments.
- Two carrier battlegroups departed for their scheduled deployments last month to replace them.
- The remaining carriers are not suddenly having their copper wire replaced.

The Twisted Genius


You spent a year in French Polynesia on an old wooden schooner? You have lived the dream, my friend. As a youngster, I spent a lot of time on the Charles W. Morgan at Mystic Seaport daydreaming about sailing those waters. I'd read passages from "Two Years Before the Mast" and "Moby Dick" while sitting on her deck or laying in one of the sailor's wooden bunks below deck. If you ever feel like sharing some of your stories, I bet a lot of us here would be eager to read them.

Here's something just for you.


Given that Iran hacked into some drones, why do you think that it is impossible (I will maintain improbable) to hack into an IR missile? Per walrus, if so, its classified.

Second, lets imagine that an EMP went off - would that affect the missile? Uh - huh. All you need to do is to induce sufficiently strong hall effect currents in the missiles brains at a distance large enough so it becomes ballistic and it misses. Is this currently possible by the Russians? I dont know, but can one say its impossible? no.

And bullets from anywhere but very very close requires electronics to target. Were the turkish planes that close? I dont know. I do recall that the Cook left abruptly after the flyover, which is surprising given how the US insists on its right to put its vessels anywhere as long as it darn well likes.



The KRET sales pitch for the Richag-AV is what they call the wonderful new technology of multibeam arrays and digital radio frequency memory DRFM. Neither of those are new, both have been around for several decades. They are also used by the USAF and the USN. Do they have some other EW magic embedded in that syatem they are not advertising? Who knows? But so far it sounds like marketing pitch for overseas sales.

On the USS Cook and the SU-24, need more info. There are several radars on the Cook, which one did they claim to shut down? Navy said the KRET stories are bogus. But even if those stories are true, then why has the Navy not started another modification on the Aegis system to counter Khibiny? Plus it was my understanding that KRET claimed in February 2015 (three months after the supposed incident) that the Khibiny system had not been installed on the Su-24. And agree with what Babelfish said above about radiative power, the Cook has hundreds perhaps thousands more kW of power than a SU-24.

Regarding Erdogan, I'm with Andy. There may be an ECM system out there that could prevent an aircraft from firing by interrupting a lock-on. But how do you prevent good old fashioned mechanical gunfire with electronics? Are they claiming they can interfere with the internal controls between the pilot and the gun breech? Possible I guess with some type of targeted EMP, but wouldn't that take down all electrical systems in the aircraft and possibly cause it to crash?

Iron Dome is a mystery to me. I am sure there is a lot of hype from IAI regarding its capabilities just as there is hype from KRET.



"it is highly dangerous to assume any advanced technology is complete fantasy."

Claims about advanced technology need to evaluated in terms of physical and technical possibilities. Electronic warfare is a mature technology, the capabilities and limitation of various frequencies, transmitters and receivers are all well understood. The vulnerabilities of legacy systems, like what is on Turkish F-16's, are well understood. I don't think it's unreasonable to be skeptical of unsubstantiated claims that some Russian EW system can effectively render the bulk of NATO's tactical air fleet, not to mention nuclear missiles, "useless."



A drone has a communication link between the aircraft and the ground station, which makes it technically possible to hack a drone. This is not possible with an IR missile which are guided by an on-board system. There is no communication link to hack or otherwise disrupt. What is possible is to fool their programming with various combinations of flares, IR masking, IR decoys and IR jamming in order to generate miss distance and not get shot down. This requires working in the IR section of the EM spectrum and generally requires the techniques to be done by the targeted aircraft due to the missile's narrow field of view.

Second, an EMP might affect a missile, but so what? There is no evidence of any kind of EMP in any of these incidents. That is a red herring.


Is China planning on a replay of a 'Pearl Harbor' on U.S. (the way they are positioning their Pacific Forces)? Blink, blink, or are my eyes playing tricks on me? Blink, blink.

Is China working on annexing California perhaps? China right now is buying up Seattle at a high rate.

Blink, blink.

China's moves are IMO creating perilous times for both U.S. AND Russia.

Outrage Beyond

Perhaps the ECM in question were used to lock down the entire fire control system of the F-16, rather than any individual weapon.


The drones that the Iranians were able to tap into had completely unencrypted video feeds. The level of hacking was on par with putting us some rabbit ears and turning the dial until you found what you wanted. Once the signals stared to be encrypted that ended.

Ishmael Zechariah


For whatever reason the two F16s piloted by coup supporters did not bring down tayyip's plane, which they had in their sights. This much is known. The "why" is unknown. One F16 could have brought down tayyip's plane by flying right up its tail as well. Perhaps they chose not to. Had they acted differently, their (false flag) coup might have been successful.

Ishmael Zechariah


Ishmael Zechariah -

I too believe it was a false flag.


The reporting indicates that the F-16s couldn't fire, i.e. something messed with the systems on the aircraft, not the onboard targeting systems of the weaponry.



Russia has done a lot of investment in electronic warfare. I agree on that.

In the Ukraine the Russians disrupted a UAV belonging to the OSCE monitoring mission that was detailing ceasefire violations (by either side). The report I saw was from FP magazine but cannot find it now. But as I recall the way they took the UAV down was by a combination of SAMs and jamming its GPS. The UAV was Austrian made and there was no info on which GPS system they were using or whether it used a military grade code or the civilian code.

Can they jam US military grade GPS? I have no clue. Supposedly not. But I note that the GPS Block III is going to use a new M-code designed to further improve anti-jamming and anti-spoofing. The first launch was going to be in 2014, but that has been delayed now until 2018.

This seems to me to be a much greater threat than Richag and/or Khibiny.

A much smarter guy than me said: "Birds navigate 1000s of miles during migration and end up in the exact same spot. Salmon return to the exact same spot they were born to spawn. Nature abounds with examples of precision navigation that rival our best electronics. We should be investigating them!"


That is mostly magnetic field. There is even reason to belief that we can sense the earth magnetic field but that is not even precise enough for an atom bomb and can be spoofed also.


IIRC the Iranians hacked the GPS signal.But Iranians have great mathematicians so cracking the encrypted channel isn't impossible.

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