Wednesday, July 03, 2019

More on the jamming in and around Syria.

via National Interest.
Israeli sources “are increasingly convinced” that three weeks of GPS disruptions for civilian flights are a side effect of Russian jamming and spoofing in Syria, Breaking Defense reported. “Moscow is trying to interfere with both Western airplanes — including cutting-edge stealthy F-22s and F-35s — and improvised terrorist drones.”

The U.S. Air Force starting in April 2019 has deployed F-22 and F-35 stealth fighters to Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, respectively, as part of a wider build-up of forces as Washington clashes with Tehran following U.S. president Donald Trump’s decision unilaterally to withdraw the United States from the agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear program.

Now, the situation is rife with rumor, with the Israeli government avoiding any official statement and still investigating other sources. But if Russia is indeed disrupting a friendly nation’s GPS by accident, why haven’t they stopped?

The answer may lie in the limits of Russian electronic warfare, which — while far more potent than U.S. military [electronic warfare] — still relies on raw power more than precise targeting.

The International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations and Israeli Airports Authority in late June 2019 announced that many flights lost the GPS satellite signal while flying into or out of Ben Gurion International in Israel, Breaking Defense reported. There has been no risk to passengers, according to the IAA. The affected aircraft simply switched to backup systems.

“Intriguingly, ground-based GPS systems are unaffected,” Breaking Defense noted. “That makes the jamming of aviation GPS suspiciously specific — another sign that it’s not a simple glitch but some kind of electronic weapon. And the Russians have invested heavily in high-powered spoofing systems that send out false GPS signals up to 500 times stronger than the real ones, leading civilian navigators miles astray.”
Story here. 

Syria is the most chaotic battlefield in recent memory.  There is one small bright spot in all this though.

We have a FANTASTIC training/intel opportunity!  Operating in this type of environment is something that can't be duplicated back can't beat real world experience.  Additionally we should have every SIGNIT/ELINT aircraft, vehicle and ship soaking up signals and analyzing it so that we can develop effective counters (assuming we don't already have one).

But of course this activity could be aimed at terrorist drones.  As many of my readers are quick to point out...often the simplest explanation is the correct one.

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