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Russia implements special measures, fears of Pro-Ukrainian attack on major Navy Parade

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As Russia prepares to celebrate its Navy Day on July 30 with grand parades of warships in key cities, including Saint Petersburg on the Baltic coast, concerns are mounting over the potential threat of a pro-Ukrainian drone attack. Since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Russia has experienced a surge in drone (UAV – Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) attacks on its territory, prompting heightened security measures for high-profile events.

Amidst the anticipation of President Putin’s attendance at the Saint Petersburg parade, the Russian government is taking the drone threat seriously. Observers have spotted special antennas identified as components of the ‘Pole 21’ electronic warfare system on one of the participating warships. This system, known as the R-340RP ‘Pole-21’, is designed to counter various threats, including cruise missiles, guided bombs, and drones.

One of the most notable capabilities of ‘Pole-21’ is its GPS jamming capability. It can disrupt satellite navigation systems, including American GPS, European Galileo, and Chinese Beidou channels. While it remains uncertain whether it affects the Russian Glonass system, there are rumors that it can also impact the widely-used Ukrainian Starlink. The system reportedly has an operational range of at least 25 km, making it a formidable deterrent against potential drone attacks.

Although Russian electronic warfare systems have been effective in countering Ukrainian drones, officials acknowledge that ‘Pole-21’ is not foolproof and that the drone threat persists at some level. Despite this, the presence of the system aboard ships during the Navy Day parade aims to minimize the risk of any attempt to disrupt the event with an explosive drone.

The parade in Saint Petersburg is of particular significance and has attracted considerable attention in light of recent geopolitical tensions. As such, security measures are expected to be robust to ensure the safety of the event and its attendees. History will determine the effectiveness of these measures in safeguarding the Navy Day celebrations from potential drone threats.

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