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Author Topic: Estonian electronic warfare  (Read 1880 times)

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Estonian electronic warfare
« on: July 30, 2019, 2151 UTC »
Estonian Sigint and EW against the Soviet Army During the August 1991 Coup dŽEtat Attempt
https://estonianelectronicwarfare.blogspot.com

Hardware used
https://estonianelectronicwarfare.blogspot.com/2015/
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Offline Josh

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Re: Estonian electronic warfare
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2019, 2242 UTC »
Cool pics and story! As they started to mass comms gear in the castle I wondered why the soviets didn't respond with the usual grid square cleansing artillery fire as they have some decent df gear and can mass fire on a spot in seconds. That's due the fact they didn't transmit from the castle, just used it as the collation center of responding HAMs and other units. Nice work by the Estonians in the come as you are war. Very cool they recorded the instances of jamming on the tactical level.

The upshot to all this is the soviets learned this lesson, they now deploy fh comms gear for armor and troops with rolling code encryption, kinda like our sincgars system but for Ivans.

pryom 
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Offline i_hear_you

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Re: Estonian electronic warfare
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2019, 0253 UTC »
That R-148 portable looks awesome, sorta like that 70s 6m portable mentioned here not too long ago.

Offline R4002

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Re: Estonian electronic warfare
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2019, 1618 UTC »
Awesome link, Chris.  I’m still browsing through all the gear these guys used.  I wonder how much equipment like this is currently being used in the conflict in Ukraine.

The R-123 HF/VHF FM military land mobile / combat net radio 20-51.5 MHz in 25 kHz steps seems to be their version of the VRC-12 and similar systems (30-76 MHz in 50 kHz steps and then 30-88 MHz in 25 kHz steps)

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The R-148 manpack portable transceiver seems like a cross between the PRC-25/PRC-77 and PRC-68 series...37 MHz to 51.95 MHz / 37-52 MHz in 50 kHz steps, but the R-158 seems like it would be used closer to modern day - almost exactly like the improved PRC-77 clones like the PRC-1077.  30.000 MHz to 79.975 MHz in 25 kHz steps is legit.  I wonder if the Russian combat net FM radios use the 150 Hz CTCSS tone as well.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2019, 1625 UTC by R4002 »
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Offline i_hear_you

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Re: Estonian electronic warfare
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2019, 1701 UTC »
Do you suppose anyone uses non-digital non-encrypted non-skip comms during war anymore?

Offline R4002

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Re: Estonian electronic warfare
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2019, 1820 UTC »
Yep. 

The US bought thousands of VHF-FM handheld and mobile radios to supply to the Afghan National Army (ANA). 

https://www.gao.gov/assets/690/686477.pdf

Read the whole document if you have the time, but check out page 9 of the PDF. [Key U.S.-Funded Communications Equipment for the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF)]

It lists the models of the radios purchased as well as the frequency bands.  The Motorola GM360 is known as the Motorola CDM1250 in the US.  VHF high band (136-174 MHz) use for police and government services. 

The radios purchased include the Datron PRC-1070 VHF handheld tactical radio (30.000-87.975 MHz in 25 kHz steps), Datron HH7700 VHF handheld tactical radio (30.000 MHz to 87.975 MHz in 25 kHz steps), the Datron PRC-1077 manpack/mobile vehicle mounted tactical radio (basically an improved PRC-77, same size and uses same accessories/antenna, also 30-88 MHz in 25 kHz steps).  All three of these radios use the standard 150 Hz CTCSS tone squelch system.  A total of 75,256 of those radios were purchased.  All three of them are the standard VHF-FM combat net radio.  No frequency hopping or encryption.  Yes, they did also purchase multiband VHF/UHF radios and HF radios, but the vast majority of them are basically upgraded PRC-77s. 

PRC-1070:  https://jds-productions.com/Video/Datron/assets/DataSheets/DTR_PRC1070-5-hres.pdf

PRC-1077: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5a5fc6241f318d2cee774450/t/5aa71bb1c83025cc85f86cb1/1520901043047/Datron_PRC1077.pdf

HH-7700: https://jds-productions.com/Video/Datron/assets/DataSheets/DTR_HH7700ds5-10.pdf

The AR-8200 Mark III is the AOR AR8200MkIII scanner/communications receiver for signals intelligence/low-level voice intercept work.  Looks like they just bought them from Universal Radio.  The AR8200 is a handheld radio that does 500 kHz to 3 GHz without any gaps, custom frequency/channel steps, and has tons of other features.  It's ideal for listening to the bad guys' radio comms in Afghanistan - which include various HF radios for long-range comms but for tactical use they favor VHF high band handhelds (read: 2 meter HTs).  My understanding is that there's at least some limited use of 26-28 MHz/11 meter equipment as well. 

I also believe that the US know that at least some of the radio gear provided to the Afghans will somehow or another end up in the hands of the bad guys so its probably a good thing they're not equipped with frequency hopping or voice encryption. 

I've seen images of US military signals intelligence guys using the AR8200 scanner/receiver in Afghanistan. 

https://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/widerxvr/0083.html
« Last Edit: August 01, 2019, 1829 UTC by R4002 »
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Offline Josh

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Re: Estonian electronic warfare
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2019, 1942 UTC »
Do you suppose anyone uses non-digital non-encrypted non-skip comms during war anymore?

As stated above, 3rd world bullet sponges get the comms gear that is cheapest and lacking in encryption/obfuscation abilities. According to the vids they love to take of their epic battles, they use them as phones, giving away a lot of information.
If the Afghan national army had a good df team and some artillery they coulda cleaned up isis in record time, but since isis is used for regime change by state dept, dod, and cia this never happened. They used to have lots of df trucks/sites but most were destroyed in 1991.

In Syria it's different, Russia has good df gear and isis comms centers often get a airstrike or artillery barrage.
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