The Ukraine War Revealed Major Flaws in Some Advanced US Weapons Systems

Illustrative photo from open sources
Illustrative photo from open sources

The full-scale invasion of Ukraine by russian forces demonstrates the importance of strengthening defense capabilities and strategic planning to protect the democratic world

The US is gaining crucial insights into its vulnerabilities from the brutal battlefields of eastern and southern Ukraine, as reported by Business Insider.

Electronic warfare

As noted by the publication, the US has exposed its deficiencies in electronic warfare, with russia's jamming systems causing problems for Western precision weaponry like GMLRS rockets and Excalibur artillery shells.

Read more: How russian S-400 SAM System Shoots Down U.S. GMLRS Rockets (Video)
U.S. GMLRS rocket , Defense Express
U.S. GMLRS rocket / Photo credit: lockheedmartin.com

"The war has revealed that some of the US precision-guided munitions fail in a highly contested electromagnetic environment," Stacie Pettyjohn, a military analyst at the Center for a New American Security, told BI.

In contrast, the utilization of inexpensive, readily available drones has emerged as a pivotal factor in Ukraine's warfare strategies. These drones are used for surveilling enemy positions, guiding artillery strikes, and carrying grenades or explosives for attacks.

M982 Excalibur , Defense Express
Illustrative photo: an M982 Excalibur 155mm round fired off an M777 howitzer / Photo credit: Sgt. Sean Harriman, U.S. Army, Popular Mechanics

Ukrainian drones are also susceptible to electronic warfare, but Ukraine has produced technology to evade jamming signals and exploit gaps in russia's electronic warfare defenses.

The use of drones on the battlefield

According to reports, the Pentagon is rapidly seeking to improve its ability to deploy drones to support troops and take out enemy drones, which military analysts believe will be ubiquitous on the battlefields of the future. At the moment, said Pettyjohn, US army units have only a few, old drones per unit.

A shortage in weapons

The Ukraine war has revealed issues not only with the quality of weapons, but also with the US' ability to meet Ukraine's quantity requirements. russia's shift to a wartime economy has led to a significant increase in military equipment production.

As noted by the Business Insider, while the war has presented significant challenges for Pentagon leaders, it has also demonstrated that many of their weapons systems outperform those of their adversaries.

M142 HIMARS multiple rocket launcher, Defense Express
M142 HIMARS multiple rocket launcher / Photo credit: U. S. Department of Defense

U.S. Patriot air defense systems have shielded Ukrainian cities from mass russian drone and rocket attacks. HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) long-range missiles continue to inflict devastating damage well behind the russian front lines. According to the publication, the Switchblade 600 exploding drone has been an important weapon for Ukraine in targeting russian artillery batteries and troops.

A high cost

A problem with US air defense systems, though, is that the missiles cost much more than the cheap drones they are often being used to shoot down.

A core lesson, said Pettyjohn, is that quantity matters as much as quality.

"The US should have learned that mass matters in addition to precision. The US military needs more artillery shells, missiles, and drones than it currently has and an industrial base that can scale production of these critical systems," said Pettyjohn.

Western artillery systems are effectively destroying the russian invaders in Ukraine
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