NATO has given Ukraine what look like countless military platforms to hit Russian forces time and time again.
Many of these systems are rocket or artillery systems that can do a lot of damage. While Kyiv does not have yet the long-range weapons or long-range fire platforms it says it needs to win, Ukriane is putting to good use what it does have.
And all of it can be seen in footage that comes out daily on social media:
Excalibur Goes Boom: Russian R-330Zh Jamming Station Destroyed in Ukraine –
The moment was captured via a new Ukrainian Shark reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
The video was shared by Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) and has since been seen countless times now in the last few months.
The drone’s ability to serve as an “eye-in-the-sky” coupled with the high-precision “smart” ordnance has essentially turned the British-made M777 155mm howitzer into a giant sniper rifle – able to make a “one shot, one kill” strike on a Russian position.
It would be apt to suggest that the 24-second-long video ended with “dead air” as the radio station was “silenced!”
It is unclear from the video if any of the crew survived the assault, but it would be unlikely.
Online reports have credited the strike to Ukrainian Army’s 92nd Mechanized Brigade.
Cuts Like a Knife
The M982 Excalibur can strike with truly deadly precision.
The 155mm extended-range guided artillery shell, which was developed as part of a collaborative effort between the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) and the United States Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), is a GPS and inertial-guided munition that is capable of being used in close support situations within just 75 to 150 meters (250 to 490 feet) of friendly troops.
The Excalibur has been used by Ukrainian forces to cut down high-value targets including enemy tanks, command posts, and forward artillery positions.
Defense contractor BAE Systems noted, “Tell the round where to go – and it goes there.” It has a “circular error probability” (CEP) of less than 10 meters. The shell can be corrected in flight towards the pre-programmed trajectory.
The strike took out an R-330Zh Zhitel, a jamming communication station that was developed and produced by the Russian-based Protek.
It was designed for automated detection, direction finding, and analysis of radio emission signals in the operating frequency range – and also provides radio-frequency interference that can jam terminals of satellite communication systems including “INMARSAT” and “IRIDIUM,” as well as navigation systems including consumer GPS.
The Zhitel can also be used to jam base stations and cellular radio communication system terminals employing the GSM-1800 standard. A number of R-330ZH jamming stations were employed by the Russian “little green men” during the Crimean crisis of March 2014.
#Ukraine: A Russian R-330Zh Zhitel jamming and radio reconnaissance station was destroyed by a Ukrainian M982 Excalibur high-precision artillery strike- seen through the camera of a new Ukrainian Shark reconnaissance UAV. pic.twitter.com/oyCqxOrpZU
— ???????? Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) March 26, 2023
The platform consists of an electronic equipment vehicle mounted on a 6×6 truck chassis and a diesel-electric power station with four active phased array antennas fitted on telescopic masts. The platform can be deployed in less than 40 minutes and can operate autonomously when powered by generators for up to 1,600 hours.
Despite its ability to jam a number of signals, the Zhitel didn’t prove good enough to stop a strike from a drone-aid Excalibur.
Author Experience and Expertise:
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.