Image: HIMARS – Shutterstock
What’s New: Leaked classified documents show Russian jamming GPS signals significantly impacts US weapons in Ukraine. Most of the media has focused on JDAM “smart bombs.” Other GPS-guided systems like the M270 and HIMARS seem to be degraded also.
Why It’s Important: Weapons systems like these are very expensive and effective if there is no jamming. GPS jamming equipment is cheap. Spoofing equipment that could redirect a GPS guided weapon to another target, like friendly forces or a hospital, is also inexpensive and easy to use.
What to Know:
- Congress has long questioned DoD about its over-reliance on GPS.
- Last August the Government Accountability Office issued its third report in 15 months criticizing DOD for the way it manages GPS and other PNT systems.
- Russia and China have terrestrial PNT systems that are very difficult to disrupt and do not rely at all on space.
Blog editor’s note: This issue has been reported by numerous media outlets. We selected the below for you as it seems to have the most information about GPS interference.
Defense Official Confirms Leak: American Smart Bombs Are Failing in Ukraine
Ukrainian forces’ failure to correctly equip smart bombs and Russian jamming GPS signals are causing American-made weapons to miss their targets.
A high number of American smart bombs are failing to achieve their objective in Ukraine, a Pentagon official told Politico confirming information in documents leaked by Jack Teixeira.
The White House ordered The Joint Direct Attack Munition-Extended Range (JDAM-ER) be sent to Ukraine late last year. In March, the Pentagon confirmed the weapon was operational. While the document leaked by Teixeira is undated, it shows that Ukraine fired JDAMS on February 15 and 21.
The JDAM-ER is a kit that attaches to unguided “dumb bombs,” upgrading the weapons into GPs guided “smart bombs” with a range of over 50 miles.
Last week, a highly-classified Pentagon document showed that four out of nine JDAMS fired by Ukrainian pilots missed their targets due to Russian GPs jamming capabilities. The document says that other artillery systems such as the M270 and HIMARs are also being impacted by Moscow’s forces using GPs jamming.