Electronic Weapons: January 9, 2005


In Iraq and Afghanistan, infantry battles sometimes see the enemy having better communications equipment than American troops. The reason is the availability of cheap, but very capable, walkie talkie type radios. American manufacturer Motorola makes a broad line of such radios, and sells them worldwide. They range from $40 models, with a range in the open of five kilometers, and a hundred meters or so in built up areas. The top of the line sells for $360 each, have radio having a maximum (in the open) range of 8 kilometers, and up to 15 floors (or, more practically, over 200 meters) in urban terrain. American troops sometimes buy these radios with their own money, but commanders discourage this. The enemy can listen in. Thats why military versions of such radios, with somewhat less capability than the top-line civilian models, cost about a thousand dollars each. Its all about security. The military versions have security features that make it practically impossible for the enemy to listen in. But if it appears that the bad guys are equipped with Motorolas, electronic warfare troops are available to listen in, or jam the civilian equipment. As a practical matter, you often dont run into Afghan or Iraqi gunmen using the hand held radios. And American troops are increasingly getting the military versions, after seeing how effective they were in the hands of commandos for decades, and British Royal Marines in Iraq during the 2003 invasion.




Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contribute. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   contribute   Close