Monday, 15 December 2014

Syria's SPR-1 mobile jammers, staying in the shadows

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

Apart from the well known T-series tanks and BMP infantry fighting vehicles, Syria also operates various lesser-known vehicles for use in conflicts home and abroad, one of which is the SPR-1 mobile jammer.

The SPR-1's appearance in the world today is so rare that not much is known on this elusive vehicle. Only Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary and Russia were known to have operated the SPR-1 in limited numbers, with East Germany only acquiring two!

Based on the chassis of the GT-MU multipurpose armoured vehicle, the SPR-1 is tasked with disabling mortar grenades and artillery shells through jamming their proximity fuses. The jamming is performed by two powerful antennas, which sends targeted pulses generating interference with the proximity fuses of the mortar grenades and artillery shells, leading to their explosion in mid-air before hitting their intended target.

As both vehicles can be seen in typical Syrian camouflage, and Syria always had a special relationship with the Soviet Union and Russia concerning electronic warfare and jamming systems, it is most likely these vehicles were received in the late 80s or early 90s, albeit in very limited numbers.

The two SPR-1s, one with its antennes deployed, likely make up a large part of the SPR-1 fleet inside Syria. It is possible some saw action near the Presidential Palace on Mount Qasioun near Damascus, due to the repeated targeting by mortars early in the Syrian Civil War. Their current theatre of deployment remains unknown however.

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  2. wow, never heard of those. very interesting