Russians Shield from HIMARS Using Pyramidal Radar Reflectors: Intelligence

Russian forces are employing radar reflectors in the water underneath two bridges that were damaged by Ukrainian strikes, British defense ministry officials have said.

Last week, Russian troops were dealt a blow after Ukrainian forces hit Antonivskiy Bridge and days later, a nearby rail bridge over the Dnipro River in Kherson, southern Ukraine, where Kyiv's forces are carrying out a counter offensive.

On Monday, Ukraine praised the delivery of four more U.S-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), which were used to target the bridges in strikes that cut off Russian troops from resupplies and other territory they were occupying. Ukraine has 16 of the systems, which have boosted Kyiv's war efforts due to their accuracy and range.

Britain's Ministry of Defence said on Thursday that in response to the bridge strikes, Russia had "almost certainly positioned pyramidal radar reflectors in the water" near the structures.

"The radar reflectors are likely being used to hide the bridge from synthetic aperture radar imagery and possible missile targeting equipment," the defense assessment said.

"This highlights the threat Russia feels from the increased range and precision of Western-supplied systems."

US M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System
US M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) fires salvoes in a military exercise in Morocco on June 30, 2022. Britain's Ministry of Defence said on August 4, 2022, that Russia had responded to HIMARS strikes by bridges near Kherson by putting radar reflectors in the water. FADEL SENNA/Getty Images

The assessment also said that Ukrainian missile and artillery units were targeting Russian military strongholds, personnel clusters, logistical support bases and ammunition depots.

"This will highly likely impact Russian military logistical resupply and put pressure on Russian military combat support elements," it added. Newsweek has contacted the Russian defense ministry for a response to the daily British assessment, which tends to focus on Ukrainian gains.

Kyiv has warned that Russian forces could be preparing for a new offensive in southern Ukraine. The Ukrainian general staff said Russia had carried out strikes on settlements in the Mykolaiv region and the eastern Kharkiv region by the Russian border on Thursday morning.

Ukrainian forces also said they had repelled Russian offensives in Slovyansk, Kramatorsk, Bakhmut and Avdiivka in the Donetsk region.

Meanwhile, Dmytro Zhyvytsky, the governor of the Sumy region near the Russian border said Moscow's forces had shelled three towns, damaging homes and commercial premises, although there were no reported casualties.

The mayor of Nikopol, to the west of Zaporizhzhia in central Ukraine, Yevhen Yevtushenko, said on his Telegram channel that his city had been shelled overnight.

It comes as the UN investigates the circumstances of an explosion at a barracks in separatist-controlled Olenivka, in the Donetsk region, that killed 53 Ukrainian prisoners of war. Both countries have accused each other of carrying out the attack.