A new wrinkle has emerged in the ongoing war in Ukraine, with leaked reports and military sources revealing earlier this week a critical setback for Ukrainian forces.

Russia’s electronic warfare (EW) capabilities are significantly disrupting the guidance systems of US-supplied weapons, throwing a wrench into Ukraine’s defense strategy.

Excaliburs Lose Their Luster

The poster child for this issue is the Excalibur, a GPS-guided 155mm artillery shell prized for its pinpoint accuracy. These shells were hailed as game-changers. With a strike radius of just seven feet (2 meters), they offered a long-range alternative to conventional artillery.

However, according to leaked Ukrainian assessments, Russian jamming has severely hampered their effectiveness.

The reports depict a staggering drop, with successful strikes plummeting from over 55 percent to a measly 6 percent during certain periods.

This translates to a nightmarish scenario where a single successful hit with an Excalibur now costs nearly $2 million, raising serious questions about its cost-effectiveness under jamming conditions.

Excalibur round
(Representation photo only) Soldiers prepare an M982A1 Excalibur for a live fire exercise in 2020. (Image source: DVIDS)

The Problem Goes Deeper

The issue extends far beyond Excalibur shells. Ukraine’s arsenal of US-supplied weaponry seems particularly susceptible to Russian EW tactics.

The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), a powerful rocket launcher capable of firing US-made rockets at targets up to 50 miles away, has also been rendered “completely ineffective” at times due to disabled satellite signals, according to a senior Ukrainian military official.