Weird GPS interference in Finland. The traces lead to Russia

Weird GPS interference in Finland. The traces lead to Russia

Currently, the GPS system is almost as essential to the functioning of modern societies as ensuring the supply of water and electricity. The entire logistics of transport, delivery, shipping, aviation is based on it. It is therefore not surprising that in early March 2022, reports from the Finnish aviation authorities about strange signal problems reported by pilots caused concern.

On March 6, this is the case for Dutch captain Erwin Jonker, who, while flying from Tallinn to Savonlinna in south-east Finland, notices a loss of GPS signal 130 km from his destination. 60 km from the airport, still no signal. A decision is made to return to Tallinn, during which the system suddenly starts working more or less where it stopped before.

Other pilots had similar problems. Aircraft overflying Finland report disturbances in South and North Karelia, Central Finland and North and South Savonia to the authorities.

The Finnish authorities only say that these are deliberate actions. Other European countries are more bold in pointing out the perpetrator. For example, the French aviation safety authority explicitly states in an interview with Bloomberg that Russia is behind the disruptions. Norway also points to Russia, where in the north of the country the GPS signal began to “go crazy” for the first time in 2017. A year later, there were also disturbances almost every day during large NATO maneuvers.

The Norwegian special services have published a report on this matter. According to her, in 2019 there were several dangerous situations in air traffic. It is believed that ground-based devices can interfere with the area at a distance of over 100 km, and those placed in the air (e.g. in an airplane, helicopter) – even at a distance of 400 km.

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However, in Finland, the Transport and Communications Agency Traficom covered up reports of the incident. According to documents seen by Yle, Finnish authorities also advised Estonian airlines not to comment on the signal disruption to journalists. Traficom justified by saying that this is an internal matter of the Finnish state and sensitive due to the current situation in the world.

Marko Eklund, who served as Finland’s military attaché in Moscow from 2018 to 2021, told Yle that the electronic attacks had to come from Russia. The aircraft jamming data examined by Yle also matches the operational area of ​​the bases of the Russian electronic warfare forces. It is known that such installations are in Murmansk, Saint Petersburg, Kursk, Kaliningrad and the Pskov region.

There may be political reasons or countermeasures against Western intelligence behind the harassment of experts. Russia could also test new equipment.

Source: Yle, Verkkouutiset

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