Electronic Weapons: The Electronic Bubble

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April 25, 2006: For the last three years, troops in Iraq have been using the Warlock electronic jammer to prevent the enemy from setting off IEDs. The Warlock has gone through many revisions, to add more frequencies and better software. Rolling along in a convoy, with one or more Warlocks broadcasting, the troops had an electronic "bubble" that made them safe from an IED they had not spotted. Several times, the vehicles have had an IED go off behind them, the result of the IED detonation crew continuing to send the signal, believing that there might be something wrong with their equipment. In those cases, the patrol often turned around and went looking for the enemy team.

In addition to Warlock, several of the U.S. Air Force and Navy electronic warfare aircraft were able to perform the same function as the Warlock, but over a wider area. This was often used when American troops were in action against the enemy, shutting down IED detonation over the entire combat area, as U.S. troops moved around seeking out and fighting the enemy.

One problem with the jamming was that it killed cell phone operation, as well as use of many other remote electronic devices Iraqi civilians in the area might be trying to use. The Iraqis complain to each other, but asking the U.S. troops to shut it off would be futile, so they don't.

 


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