China and Russia have developed GPS jammers that can interfere with American drones
China appears to be moving forward with plans to use electronic attacks designed to either disrupt or take control of American drones. With reports that the Chinese attempted to interfere with U.S. military drones at least once in recent years, the country has shown a willingness to use GPS signal jammer to prevent U.S. aircraft from conducting surveillance missions in the Spratly Islands.
With the FAA and the Navy both keeping their mouths shut on the experiments that will be carried out, it is difficult to ascertain what kind of testing will happen. There are GPS jammers out in the market right now that can be purchased for below $200, but it seems that the military will be testing more potent systems that are able to disrupt the GPS of unmanned and manned aircraft.
Moscow-based Aviaconversiya Ltd., which is located near the Kremlin, produces a portable GPS-signal jammer device that can seriously impair U.S. satellite-based guidance systems in Iraq.
The U.S. claimed earlier this week that Aviaconversiya technicians are on the ground in Iraq helping to deploy equipment designed to jam U.S. satellite signals. U.S. intelligence shows an electronic signal emitted by the jamming system in Iraq has been traced to the system sold by the Russian firm. Intelligence also indicates the equipment was delivered after the war started.
Navigation on sea, in the air, and on the ground all largely rely on GPS. Many weapon systems, like cruise missiles and GPS-guided bombs, also rely on the technology, at least partially, to hit their intended targets reliably and accurately. If the GPS signals are unavailable or unreliable, our fighting forces would be severely crippled. The enemy knows this, and our GPS satellites can be attacked in multiple ways, both kinetic (anti-satellite weaponry, orbital tampering, etc.) and non-kinetic (jamming, hacking, etc).
An assessment done by NAIC officers indicated the company was getting help from the Russian military to develop and test its GPS-jammer product, and that the jammers were being specifically marketed to Iraq. Intelligence officials think the jammers initially were imported to counter U.S. and British jets patrolling the “no-fly” zones of northern and southern Iraq after the Gulf War.
The firm Perfectjammer has developed a jammer for GPS. A small number will greatly increase defense effectiveness. … Without knowledge of positions it is impossible to fulfill combat missions and for headquarters to control troops. … If you can’t destroy the enemy, paralyze its combat actions.