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Ukraine's war has shown the US its expensive GPS-guided munitions aren't as effective as it thought: report

An Airman from the 7th Munitions Conventional Maintenance shop prepares Joint Direct Attack Munitions at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 31, 2024.
An Airman from the 7th Munitions Conventional Maintenance shop preparing Joint Direct Attack Munitions at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, last month.US Air Force photo by Senior Airman Leon Redfern
  • The Pentagon is learning lessons from the Ukraine war.

  • The conflict has shown that its munitions are vulnerable to electronic jamming.

  • It's changing the way the Pentagon plans for war, The Washington Post has reported.

The US has long placed its faith in expensive weapons as the key to victory in conflicts, but the Ukraine war is forcing it to revise its assumptions, The Washington Post has reported.

Stacie Pettyjohn, the director of the defense program at the Center for a New American Security, told the outlet the conflict had challenged long-held ideas that expensive, precision-guided weapons were key to winning US wars.

US-made Himars or Excalibur shells, which are guided to their targets using GPS, have proven vulnerable to Russian electronic-warfare units, which scramble their signals and send them off course.

Pettyjohn told the Post that the US had almost certainly taken note of the fact that Ukraine was using older artillery, guided to their targets using sensors and drones.

Himars rockets cost about $240,000 each, and in 2022 were deployed effectively by Ukraine to take out Russian targets behind the front lines in precision strikes.

But leaked US intelligence documents last year indicated concerns that Russia had found ways to target them using electronic warfare, and by the time of Ukraine's counteroffensive in the summer, their impact was blunted.

Ukraine has instead used relatively cheap drones to identify targets for missile strikes. These weapons aren't as vulnerable to electronic-warfare tactics.

Problems with implementing US tactics have also been exposed during the war, with Ukrainian troops seeking to abandon unsuccessful NATO maneuver tactics to break through Russian defenses.

The Post reported that lessons from Ukraine would inform the US' next National Defense Strategy, with analysts examining ground warfare, information warfare, long-range fire capability, and other aspects of the conflict.

Read the original article on Business Insider