Range Deception is a relevant approach used by aircraft and drones to deceive the supervising radars. 

Explore the intricacies of Range Deception in Electronic Warfare—a tactic used by aircraft and drones to mislead enemy radars. Learn how altering radar signal timings can affect an adversary's ability to accurately locate and target. Understand the strategic implications and countermeasures in this evolving field.

Range Deception in Electronic Warfare

Range deception in electronic warfare involves manipulating radar signals to create false or misleading information about the position of an aircraft or drone. This tactic aims to deceive an enemy's radar system by either hastening or delaying the return of the radar signal, which, in turn, affects the calculated distance of the object from the radar. When the reflected signal is hastened, the radar perceives the aircraft as being closer than it actually is. Conversely, delaying the return signal creates the impression that the aircraft is farther away.

Video Examples

In the following we show the same target movement of one single target. In the first video, you see the real movement. In the 2nd video, Range-Gate-Pull-Off is applied in delaying mode. In the 3rd video, Range-Gate-Pull-Off is applied in a hastening mode.

  • 1. Video: No RGPO, normal target movement
  • 2. Video: RGPO with delaying
  • 3. Video: RGPO with hastening

1. Video: No RGPO, normal target movement

HubSpot Video

2. Video: RGPO with Delaying

 In this video the target moves towards radar. Since the RGPO is active with delay feature, it will shift the target away from the radar (i.e. comparing the first iteration with second) although the target shall appear closer. Due to RGPO the real position of the target is not visible because of the increased RCS of the fake target and the adaptation of AGC of radar.

HubSpot Video

3. Video: RGPO with Hastening

Similar as above, with only one difference, fake target appears closer to the radar, in comparison with the original target position (see video 1.), due to the hasting feature of the RGPO

HubSpot Video

Several Targets

Hastening with 2 Targets

In the following video, we demonstrate two targets whose signal returns have been artificially accelerated to appear closer than they actually are (hastening). We created the effect with the SkySim simulator. To do so we first positioned a target and then superimposed range deception.

HubSpot Video

Delaying with 2 Targets

In the second video, we demonstrate two targets whose signal returns have been artificially delayed to appear closer than they actually are (delaying). We created the effect with the SkySim simulator. as well

HubSpot Video

Strategic Implication

The primary strategic implication of range deception is that it complicates an adversary's ability to accurately locate, track, or target the aircraft. For example, an enemy might launch a missile based on false positional data, causing the missile to miss its intended target. Additionally, misleading information may lead to flawed strategic decisions, wasted resources, or an ineffective defense response. Range deception can also allow an aircraft to penetrate enemy airspace undetected or give it the opportunity to escape a threatening situation.

Electronic Counter Counter Measures

However, while this tactic is potentially effective, it is not foolproof. Modern radar systems often employ counter-countermeasures to identify deceptive tactics.

FreeScopes provides several packages of counter-measure algorithms allowing defense students to eliminate the effects of deception.

As electronic warfare becomes increasingly sophisticated, range deception remains one of many tools in the complex and ever-evolving contest for control of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Many Applications for Electronic Warfare

Follow our blogs and videos on Electronic Warfare with SkyRadar's Disturbance Filtering & Analysis solutions, the jammers and the Pulse Radar! SkyRadar is the only provider world-wide, providing manufacturer-agnostic ECM and ECCM training with simulators and real radars and jammers. Learn more about the simulator, range deception, angle deception, speed deception, radar lock on and major state of the art defense algorithms against malicious attacks.

Such defense is not only useful in a military context but also in a civil aviation setting. Increasingly speed radar jammers by trucks and cars disturb airport infrastructure. Also hybrid warfare is used to perturb critical infrastructure like airports and civil air surveillance and navigation services.

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