LONDON ($1=0.82 British Pounds) — Pyramidal radar reflectors have been placed in the water near key bridges in Kherson, including the recently damaged Antonovsky Bridge. Similar reflectors have been noticed around the railway bridge over the Dnieper River, also in Kherson. The reflectors were installed by the Russian Armed Forces. British intelligence released the information, citing satellite images.
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Radar pyramid reflectors, also known as radar Ghost shields, are intended to deflect Ukrainian missiles. It is about missiles launched by HIMARS and M270 – GMLRS. The radar reflector is a simple construction – intersecting flat and metal surfaces that form an angle of 90 degrees.
Their principle of operation [supposed to be such] is as follows: the guided missile uses radar guidance systems. They emit radio waves. Radar reflectors must repeatedly reflect these radar waves from the guided missile. This creates a very strong disturbance that confuses the radar system of the guided missile. I.e. the missile is attracted to the radar reflector and it begins to fly towards it, while the main target – the bridge – is missed.
However, is this countermeasure of the Russian armed forces effective? Most likely not. The GMLRS missiles fired by the M270 and M142 are not simple radar systems to be confused with radar reflectors. Their guidance is not based on “target seeking radar” but on satellite GPS guidance.
The radar reflector would have an effect if Ukraine launched the Harpoon or Neptune anti-ship missiles, but as the name suggests – these missiles are intended for weapons systems at sea, not infrastructure sites.
The fact that Russia is looking for a way to protect key infrastructure sites suggests that the Russians understand the combat capability of HIMARS and the M270. These systems are effective at short and medium distances, are mobile, and can easily change positions. This further complicates the task of easily destroying them.
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