Russia’s ‘Abzats’ and ‘Gyurza’: AI-Driven anti-drone warfare in Ukraine

Shaimaa Raafat
2 Min Read

Russia has deployed new artificial intelligence (AI)–powered anti-drone systems, Abzats and Gyurza, in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. This marks a significant development in the increasing use of AI technology on the battlefield.

Abzats, a mobile jamming platform, utilizes AI algorithms to autonomously move and perform electronic warfare tasks, jamming the full spectrum of frequencies used by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Oleg Zhukov, CEO of the Russian research and production company Geran, confirmed the system’s deployment in the conflict zone.

Russia has also deployed Gyurza, another AI-powered anti-drone jammer.

The Institute for the Study of War, a US-based think tank, reports that Gyurza’s AI can selectively jam frequencies used by Ukrainian drones, potentially addressing issues with Russian electronic warfare systems interfering with their own drone operations.

Samuel Bendett of the CNA research centre in the US noted that AI is becoming a “significant asset” in the war, with both sides seeking to leverage the technology to neutralize enemy drones.

However, the impact of this technological edge on the overall conflict remains to be seen.

Reports suggest that Russia’s reliance on fully autonomous systems extends beyond countering drones. Last month, the Independent News reported on the deployment of AI-powered “killer robot” drones capable of independently identifying and destroying targets, including Western-supplied tanks.

While Russia appears to be embracing autonomous weapon systems, Western armies have generally adhered to the principle of maintaining human control in the “kill chain.” Lt. Col. Jahara Matisek, a former US Air Force fighter pilot, commented that this technology is readily available to most Western militaries but is considered “taboo.” He believes the evolving nature of warfare, with its emphasis on remote engagement to minimize risk, will necessitate a reconsideration of the ethics surrounding AI and autonomous weapons.

Zhukov, in an interview with Gazeta, defended the integration of AI into electronic warfare, citing its proven effectiveness in automatically suppressing enemy drone systems upon detection while remaining dormant in their absence.

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