Baltic planes suffer GPS interference, some blame Russia

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Planes flying over the Baltic region are reporting a mysterious increase in lost or falsified Global Positioning System (GPS) signals, sparking concern That Russia is the culprit.

In less than two days earlier this week, more than 1,600 aircraft, including civilian aircraft, suffered interference, known as GPS jamming, according to open-source intelligence accounts that regularly track GPS jamming.

The disruption appears to be centered around Russia’s Kaliningrad enclave – a key military region for Moscow. It is located between NATO members Poland and Lithuania and is the base for one of Russia’s main naval fleets.GPS jamming has been a regular occurrence since the war began in ukraine 2022.

On March 17, 2024, a plane taxied in Gdansk, Poland. (Michal Fludra/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) told Politico it is investigating the issue, but so far the regulator has said the GPS issue does not pose a threat to flights.

The European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol) told the publication that cases of interference reported by pilots “have been steadily increasing since January 2022.” The travel safety agency receives reports from pilots through its voluntary incident reporting system, EVAIR.

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The organization said there were 985 GPS outages between January and February this year, compared with 1,371 in all of 2023.

It is understood that Russia has important electronic warfare (EW) resources in Kaliningrad.

Air traffic control at Warsaw Chopin Airport

Air traffic control at Chopin Airport in Warsaw, Poland on April 22, 2022 (Mateusz Wlodarczyk/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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Lithuanian defense officials told Newsweek earlier this month: “The Russian armed forces possess a variety of military equipment specifically designed for GNSS jamming, including jamming and spoofing, which vary in range, duration and intensity.”

Dana Goward, president of the American Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation, told Politico that Russia often uses the technology to target aircraft.

“This is a real threat. We know of one instance of accidental interference that almost resulted in airliner Hitting a mountain,” he said, referring to a case reported by NASA in 2019.

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Ukrainian tank

On December 4, 2023, in Avdivka, Donbass, Ukraine, the Russian-Ukrainian war continued, and Ukrainian soldiers patrolled in a Bradley fighting vehicle. GPS interference has been a regular occurrence since the war in Ukraine broke out in 2022. (Marek M. Berezowski/Anadolu, Getty Images)

According to Politico, in mid-March, a military aircraft carrying British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps encountered GPS interference while returning from Poland, but the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has not confirmed that the source of the interference was Russia. , and it is impossible to confirm whether the interference was intentional. .

According to the Wall Street Journal, in 2022 and 2023, the European Aviation Safety Agency warned of an increase in reports of GPS spoofing and jamming incidents in areas around Russia, including Finland, around the Black Sea, and the Baltic Sea region. The European Aviation Safety Agency said in an advisory that pilots were forced to reroute or change destinations mid-flight.

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Experts say planes can still fly safely without GPS and can switch to other sources when GPS is inaccurate.

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By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

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