Russia is stepping up electronic warfare.
The commander of the Estonian Defense Forces warned that Russia is using GPS jammers.
One expert warned that the jammers could interrupt air traffic.
The devices could present a problem for NATO if a conflict with Russia arises.
(NewsReady.com) – When Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, NATO member states immediately expressed concern that the conflict would spread to their nations. The worry was that if Russian President Vladimir Putin succeeded, then he would not stop at Ukraine. As a result, Finland and Sweden both petitioned to join NATO. The former was accepted last year as a full-member state. Sweden is still waiting for final approval.
As NATO countries fortify their defenses to prepare for a potential conflict, one nation is accusing Russia of using dubious methods to potentially render the countries defenseless.
According to remarks from Martin Herem, the commander of the Estonian Defense Forces, Russia was allegedly using a GPS jammer to disrupt the satellite systems in the Baltic region. Newsweek reported the jamming occurred in the southeastern and eastern parts of Finland. Additionally, the GPS disruptions were also said to have occurred in southern Sweden, Latvia, northern Poland, and Estonia.
Russia has been accused of jamming GPS signals in the past in northern Europe. There’s no proof that Moscow is responsible for the latest disruptions. However, Harem said they believe it’s Russia jamming the signals and that the adversarial military is testing its capabilities.
The Russian military has repeatedly used GPS jammers on the Ukrainian military. In the fall, Russian forces installed one of the devices, the Pole-21, in southern Ukraine to prevent the enemy forces from using their drones and GPS-guided munitions effectively. The Ukrainian military responded by using a GPS-guided bomb to blow the jammer up.
At the time, the independent Conflict Intelligence Team remarked that Ukraine’s use of a GPS-guided bomb demonstrated that the jamming system “was not operational at the moment of the strike.”
The issue is not just that the devices could cause problems for NATO in a potential conflict with Russia; one expert also said there’s a bigger problem.
Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation President Dana Goward said that jamming GPS signals “presents a risk to thousands of commercial aircraft.” He called on NATO to respond to the threat “proportionally” since “international pressure has so far failed to halt the interference.”
A Longstanding Problem
In 2017, the Estonian Defense Ministry issued a report that stated Russia was modernizing its electronic warfare. The report stated that the impact of those modernizations is “evident in Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.”
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