Phones Deadlier Than Battle Tanks? Here's How Russia, Ukraine Used Phones as Weapons to Find Out Targets

Mobile networks have emerged as a major warfare tools to find out the enemy's location in the Russia-Ukraine war. Ukraine troops have recalled that they were being ordered by their seniors to not have mobile phones in the war zone.

They informed that Russia has been using its Leer-3 electronic warfare system to identify the enemy's location and strike them with missiles or artillery within seconds.

Representative image Pxfuel

What is Russia's Leer-3 Electronic Warfare System?

The Leer-3 system is comprised of two drones and a truck, which acts as a command center to find out the enemy's location.

The warfare system has the capacity to identify locations of over 2,000 cellphones in a range of nearly 3.7 miles. It enables the system to find out the enemy's position easily, according to Sky News.

Ukraine Also Uses Similar Technology

On the other side, Kyiv has been also using a similar tactic in the war as the US had revealed nearly two weeks past that a Russian General was killed as he made a call, which was picked up by the Ukrainian intelligence.

Russia's Leer-3 Electronic Warfare System
Russia's Leer-3 Electronic Warfare System Twitter/@MrKovalenko

The rising use of identifying the enemy's location with such tactics triggered Ukrainian officials to release an advisory, asking their troops to leave their SIM cards at home or make a call at least 500 meters away from their location.

They were also ordered in the eastern Donbas region to keep their cellphones always off as Russians could figure out their location, launching a grad missile on the enemy.

Russian military
Russian military wikimedia commons

How Does the Technology Work?

Cell-site simulator devices are used in the tactic. The devices, which mimic as a phone mast, are positioned inside the drones and are deployed over the battlefield. Simulators trick cell phones and measure the strength of signals from various phones masts in the area.

The device analyses the signal strength in the area. With finding strength stronger or weaker from the phone's masts, it is easy to find out locations and trigger a missile hit at the site.

In another way, some systems can easily figure out a cellphone's location by accessing the phone's GPS as simulators connect them.