EW battles continue…

Electronic/cyber warfare is the ‘new’ norm, but this one is a ‘old’ trick…

U.K. authorities have confirmed that a Royal Air Force Dassault 900LX business jet transporting Grant Shapps, the U.K. defense secretary, recently experienced GPS jamming while flying near Russia’s Kaliningrad enclave. Russia has a known history of performing electronic warfare attacks in Europe and elsewhere around the globe, impacting both commercial and military aircraft, including uncrewed systems, as well as shipping. But it’s not clear if the Royal Air Force jet was specifically the intended target, or if it just passed through an area where a broad GPS disruption operation was focused, which is not uncommon in the area.

The Times of London was the first to report on the electronic warfare attack, which occurred on March 13 following a one-day visit by Shapps to Orzysz, northeast Poland. There, the secretary met with Polish Defense Minister Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz at a military training site, alongside Polish and British troops currently participating in Exercise Steadfast Defender 24, NATO’s largest military exercise since the Cold War.

Full article, HERE from the War Zone. h/t Stretch

The problem here is that too many pilots today rely on GPS for navigation, and don’t really use other tools to cross check that the GPS is actually correct. Very few of the young pilots today have ever done dead reckoning navigation since they were in basic ground school, and celestial navigation equipment doesn’t even exist for most aircraft anymore. LORAN and Omega are defunct, and inertial navigation systems are now ’embedded’ in most of the GPS systems, and never used by themselves.

Also, many pilots don’t understand Schuler Cycle issues inherent in inertial systems… sigh…

I just hope the pilots and crews ‘wake up’ to what is going on, and start cross checking that their GPS is actually doing what it is supposed to be doing…


EW battles continue… — 28 Comments

  1. This is why politicians should be sent places via ballistic methods. You don’t get these problems when you transport them via projectile.

  2. Hey Old NFO,

    I do know that the Israeli El Al pilots do verify because they were 2 attempts to *spoof* them around Somaliland and that smells like Iran, but I am sure they get their support from the Russians being pariahs and all. They need to publish a “NOTAM” to cross check their navigation when they are flying international especially near any “suspect” areas especially with the retardation in the middle East.

  3. Well, if GPS is interfered with, I am sure that Galileo, GLONASS, etc are perfectly reliable.


    The ways that vehicle electronics can be interfered with are one reason it is stupid to unnecessarily make a calculated push into civil war, and most especially stupid for politicians to carelessly and recklessly play around with stuff they do not understand or respect.

    I am irritated still about self driving cars, EVs, and also the timing and circumstances of the advanced aviation mobility push.

  4. This is what happens when you rely on navigation methods over which you have no control. I suspect that they did not have any of the encrypted keys which are there to prevent jamming and spoofing loaded as well.

      • This is going to be USA-centric.

        Broad brush: Rand McNally Road Atlas. Covers highways (down to the county level and more important non-highways) for the US, Canada and Mexico. Usually a page or more per state. I’ve used them for Left Coast to eastern Midwest road trips a fair number of times.

        Medium resolution: AAA offers maps to members. I get by an office occasionally, and they’ll have state and county maps, and it’s possible to order out-of-area maps.

        Fine resolution, but only for certain metro areas. Thomas Guide has the fine detail. Check out their site for what’s covered.

        The Road Atlas and the Thomas Guide can either be bought from the publishers, or (of course!) Amazon.

        • Many state welcome areas still have maps, but you often have to ask for them now.
          At a lower level, chamber of commerce or business associations often have city or county maps available.
          I’ve done both the last 2 places I’ve lived.
          I will occasionally do a new trip with a paper map to keep in practice

      • DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteer Paper Maps. Tons of State info. Kinda pricey but worth it.

        • When Smarter Half and I do our cross country drive we use:
          Rand-McNally atlas for individual states.
          Michelin atlases in 2 scales for route planning.
          DeLorme topo maps for Tennessee and Florida (not that Fla. has much topo).
          And at welcome centers I’ll pay extra for the most detailed map of said state.

  5. Time, distance, heading! What ARE they teaching them in flight school these days?

    • Systems management. No, seriously. One flight instructor I listened to spends 10 hours on the ground teaching the student the Flight Management System in the Cessna 172 before they ever get close to the plane, let alone into the air. And then we wonder why the kids won’t get their heads out of the cockpit and look for traffic!

  6. Just look out the window and follow the railroad tracks! Duh.

    “Schuler cycle”: Ah! I bet that explains the sine wave on the piece of paper taped to the side of the SINS.

  7. All- Thanks, and no GPS jamming is an ‘area’ weapon. Robert, that would be IFRR… IFR is when you follow the interstates… LOL

    • And here I thought IFRR was Interstate Follows RailRoad, like I-40 and I-80 across much of the West.

  8. Yes, from what I’ve heard, any GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) can be selectively disrupted.
    Good (read expensive) navigation systems can mix GNSS, inertial nav, radar ground mapping, star trackers, and terrestrial and space-based signals into a complete solution. Then weigh each input and reject improper signals.
    Also why the Navy and others are looking into non-GNSS PNT solutions.

  9. I imagine the USAF and USN are going to have this feature added to the satcom terminals they use for accessing Starlink. The existing terrestrial terminals could do this with (a lot) of additional software. I’d think the airlines would be interested as well. It isn’t as accurate as GPS but it is good enough for a lot of purposes and much harder to jam to to the quantity of satellites in the constellation. https://www.space.com/spacex-starlink-gps-navigation

  10. WN, I have heard the opposite.
    I do not know what terms to search to get the answer without just getting need as a result.

      • John is correct, it can be done, it is expensive to do, and details are classified. Funny, John hit the same article I did. There are other good articles. There’s a huge difference between jamming the signal (denial of service) versus actively making a GPS receiver think somewhere it is not. The GPS Directorate outside Colorado Springs constantly modifies the design of the satellites, signals, and receivers in a means to stay ahead of the problem. Interesting stuff there…

  11. Jamming and signal spoofing are 2 different things.
    Interpreting the linked article by JF, spoofing would require the GPS signal receiver to receive the spoofed signal instead.
    Next to find out, what is a GPS signal?