Image: USAF Photo Staff Sgt Robert M. Trujillo

Blog Editor’s Note: We just ran across this article and thought our readers might like to see it.

It makes perfect sense for the pilots to do this (we would do it). But the revelation is clearly a PR loss for the US and a win for Russia, China, and Europe. 

This also helps explain the language in the Senate version of the NDAA for next year calling for DoD to get busy on resilient PNT systems and deploy them by 2023.

Russian and Chinese Satellites Are Helping US Pilots Spy on Russia and China

U-2 pilots are wearing watches that connect to foreign satellites, giving them backup navigation when GPS is jammed.

American U-2 spy plane pilots, who have long flown bleeding-edge technology to the edge of Earth’s atmosphere, have a new high-tech gadget: a watch that receives satellite navigation coordinates from Russian, Chinese, and European satellites.

It serves as a backup to U.S. Global Positioning System satellites, in case their signal becomes unavailable.

“My U-2 guys fly with a watch now that ties into GPS, but also BeiDou and the Russian [GLONASS] system and the European [Galileo] system so that if somebody jams GPS, they still get the others,” Gen. James “Mike” Holmes, head of Air Combat Command, said Wednesday at a McAleese and Associates conference in Washington.