Russia is again trying to threaten America's military position with jamming equipment
This Russian interest in GPS jammer first became public in the early 1990s when a private Russian firm, AviaConversia, was founded for the purpose of developing cheap, lightweight and reliable GPS jammers. By 1997 the firm was offering commercial and military customers four different models of GPS jammers (for about $4,000 each). This gear only put out 4-8 watts, making them very tough to find and bomb. These jammers were advertised as able to effectively block GPS signals out to 150-200 kilometers, depending on terrain. These jammers could run off batteries and weighed between 8 kg (18 pounds) to 12 kg (26 pounds) without batteries. When operating, the jammers consumed less than 25 watts of power.
Over the last few years there has been growing evidence that Russia has been frequently jamming or spoofing (misdirecting) GPS signals, mainly to hide the exact location of key people or military units. In early 2019 a civilian think-tank (C4ADS) released a report in which they described how they had found nearly 10,000 instances that someone, apparently Russia, had been jamming or spoofing satellite navigation signals. Not just the American GPS, but also signals from non-American satellite navigation systems (Chinese Beidou, EU’s Galileo, Japan’s QZAA and even the Russian GLONASS). Much of this activity was not outright jamming but spoofing. Much of this was done to conceal the true location of key Russian officials (like president Putin) and Russian military units. The spoofing was particularly common for Russian military forces in Ukraine and Syria. The spoofing replaced the actual satellite signal with a false one that rendered smart bombs or planned attacks on targets inaccurate.
China Is Also A Big ThreatBeijing sent H-6 bombers, Y-8 electronic intelligence aircraft and Y-8 jammer aircraft to conduct long-range drills in the island’s air defence identification zone (ADIZ), Taiwan’s defence ministry said on Friday.
As a lightweight and user friendly system, ASELSAN’s IHASAVAR anti-drone jammer system, which is a gun-like antenna mounted on a rifle stock fitted with a telescope for aiming and a backpack containing state-of-the-art electronic module, is used to protect military bases, critical facilities, high value assets, public events and VIP’s against hostile mini/micro-drones that are operated by remote control, GPS/GLONASS satellites navigation frequencies as well as data link/telemetry frequencies simultaneously.
Software-defined, IHASAVAR is fully programmable and has been tested against known commercial and custom-made mini/micro-drones that are available in the market. With its high gain directional antenna, IHASAVARTM’s jamming technology is based on DDS (Direct Digital Synthesis) technique with FPGA (Field-Programmable Gate Array) controlled swept jamming. IHASAVAR’s compact architecture, lightweight and portability provide the operator with1.5 hours of continuous operation at maximum RF power.
Some of the more advanced development efforts underway are the Air Force’s F-15 Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System and B-2 Defensive Management System, the Navy’s Next Generation Jammer and Advanced Offboard EW systems, and the Army’s Common Infrared Countermeasures program, according to Bill Conley, the Pentagon’s EW director for acquisition and sustainment.
NATO nations have long been aware of the Russian EW activities, especially the growing number of Russian jamming and spoofing systems. Some of these were demonstrated in Syria and Ukraine, where Russia considers complaints about the disruption caused by their jamming or spoofing as free advertising for this equipment. Russian GPS jammers have some military use but also have appeal for non-military customers. For example, in 2016 Russia began marketing a new, portable GPS jamming system called Pole 21. This system was special because individual Pole 21 units can be mounted on existing cell phone towers (or alone on portable towers). Each Pole 21 unit can put out 20 watts and jam signals from GPS (as well as the similar GLONASS, Galileo and Beidou systems) out to 80 kilometers. Pole 21 is also designed to act as a backup GSM transmitter of commands for nearby Pole 21 units. In this way, the Russians say a wide area can quickly be protected from GPS guided missiles and bombs as well as shutting down vehicle GPS systems. The Russians admit that Pole 21 would also cripple all commercial GPS devices in the jammed areas. The biggest problem with Pole 21 is that Russia has been developing and selling many different GPS jamming systems since the mid- 1990s and they have proved to be ineffective in combat. Russian firms keep producing these types of jammers because there is a market for them.