iPads are helping Ukraine's pilots flying Soviet-era planes in combat missions against Russian fo... - 3 minutes read

Ukraine's pilots are using iPads for combat missions, said a US undersecretary.The iPads or similar tablets could assist in what are called "Wild Weasel" missions.It is an example of adapted Ukrainian weapons built by stitching Western and Soviet parts together.

Thanks for signing up!

Access your favorite topics in a personalized feed while you're on the go.

download the app

A video released by Ukraine's Air Force appears to show its pilots using a tablet to help it conduct combat missions against Russian air defense systems.

It could be more evidence of the US working with the Ukraine to help it adapt Western technology to its dated Soviet weapons.

US Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, William LaPlante, told reporters at a Washington DC conference last week: "Think about the aircraft that the Ukrainians have, and not even the F-16s, but they have a lot of the Russian and Soviet-era aircraft."

He described how Ukraine's aging fighter planes could now take many Western weapons and get them to work on their aircraft as they were "basically controlled by an iPad by the pilot. They're flying it in conflict like a week after we get it to him," he said, per The Telegraph.

LaPlante didn't provide further details.

The iPads or similar tablets could assist in what are called "Wild Weasel" missions, said The War Zone, a defense publication.

The strategy involves jet pilots luring enemy antiaircraft defenses into targeting them with their radars. The radar waves are then traced back to their source and struck by the Ukrainian pilots with weapons like the US-made AGM-88 High-speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARMs).

In the video, a jet pilot can be seen flying a Soviet Su-27 plane fitted with an iPad or a similar tablet in the cockpit. The pilot can be seen firing off HARMS, said The Telegraph. The tablet also shows a navigational map, and other flight information.

Business Insider could not independently verify where or when the video was taken or if it recorded a combat mission or a training exercise.

Ukrainian Air Force Su-27 Flanker Wild Weasel operations, seen here conducting multiple low level standoff strikes against Russian radars with US-supplied AGM-88 HARMs. pic.twitter.com/7CosjXFNkO— OSINTtechnical () April 21, 2024

The War Zone stated that the tablets were "vital for the employment of several Western-supplied air-to-ground weapons" as Ukraine's Soviet-era fighters lack the data interfaces that ensure "seamless compatibility" with the latest missiles.

"A cockpit tablet," the publication said, "could provide a kind of visualized radar warning receiver for Ukrainian fighter pilots conducting Wild Weasel missions."

The US Air Force developed the Wild Weasel strategy during the Vietnam War after the introduction of Soviet surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) that used radar to pinpoint its targets, where aircraft equipped with anti-radiation missiles could detect and destroy the North Vietnamese guided missiles.

It is the latest example, from the war that began with Russia's full-scale invasion in 2022, of Ukrainian weapons built by stitching Western and Soviet parts together to make a new system.

They include the "FrankenSAM" air defense systems now operating on the front line. The name is a nod to "Frankenstein" because their manufacture involves cobbling bits of different machines together to make Ukraine's stock of Soviet SAMs more effective.

Source: Business Insider

Powered by NewsAPI.org