March 07, 2022

Russian threats a reminder of the need to protect GPS

By Sarah Mineiro

Video and images of Russia’s illegitimate attempt to deny Ukrainian sovereignty have shocked the world – especially the gruesome attacks in civilian urban areas. But some of the war’s most strategic impacts may well occur in less physically observable domains: space and cyberspace.

The United States and its allies remain vulnerable to spoofing, denial and attack. While Russia’s ground forces may not have delivered the swift stroke Putin expected, its cyber capabilities could fare far better in a future fight and the West needs to be ready.

As we continue to observe Russia escalate this conflict, we must be prepared to understand the threats to our Global Positioning System capabilities, actively defend the GPS system, and work with partners and allies to creatively architect a way to deny hostile actors like Russia the benefits of jamming GPS.

While Russia’s ground forces may not have delivered the swift stroke Putin expected, its cyber capabilities could fare far better in a future fight and the West needs to be ready.

Russia has long identified U.S. reliance on space-based positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) as an asymmetric vulnerability to be denied early in any conflict with the West.Moscow assesses that the U.S. and its allies are reliant on GPS to conduct effective military operations while Russia can continue to rely on its own space-based PNT system, GLONASS, to provide them support. Recently, HawkEye360, a U.S.-based company which uses satellites to collect radio-frequency signals and provides data analytics services, reported extensive GPS interference activity over Ukraine.

Read the full article from Space News.

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