It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


The ever increasing threat of over reliance on GPS guided munitions/sytems

page: 1

log in


posted on Mar, 17 2008 @ 07:30 PM
Personally even though I fully understand that the reliance of FCS on GPS is geared towards used against 3rd world countries, do to inevitable transfer of MIC technology in to the field of civilian policing, I can’t help but to think of all the malfunction that are bound to happen.

The main advantage of GPS guided systems is that they are simply cheap to manufacture, and can be literally slapped onto existing munitions to make them “smart”.

No need for expensive electro-optical systems, no need for dedicated data channels and their support networks, just a global, standardized positioning system which is used from everything like car navigation to guiding a cannon fired shell.

With out going into the military field and the problems Tomahawks had with GPS in Iraq, and how far their INS (Inertial navigation system) took them off course, I’ll focus on much simpler and down to earth situations.
As its been previously proven, even encrypted GPS data streams have been hacked, and erroneous data packets were injected thus fed incorrect position data.

While INS and star mapping systems (if used at night) can compensate for the corrupted GPS feed, even if the monition makes it into its terminal attack phase position, the strike accuracy will be simply be non existent.
Further more, with the GPS signal compromised, active systems can target the monition and can actively corrupt digital gimbals, including real-time space-stabilized digital gimbals, thus having the ability to literally redirect the weapon towards an entirely different location.
I recall that I brought up this issue on ATS some time ago, and here’s why I started thinking about it again.
Recently I move from LA back to Seattle, and having a “modified” GPS navigation system, I was rather surprised to how much my very sensitive receiver was affected by dense and thick cloud cover which is typical for this area.

While in LA I NEVER had a problem of locking on to at least 4 sats with in seconds, and the system very rarely lost the signal, and with the use of linked digital compass and accelerometers combined with polynomial interpolation for tracking of GPS satellite coordinates, and using external antennas, the accuracy of the mobile consumer grade system powered by a 624Mhz PDA provides mil spec accuracy (well over 90% at sub-meter), even when used in high speed aircraft.

After I moved back to Seattle, I’ve noticed just how much the GPS signal is degraded by the thick cloud cover which is covering most of the coastal area for the majority of the year.
Roughly 8 months of the years Seattle area is covered by the thick grey, thick clouds which are liable to bust out a rain storm at any moment.
Currently I not only loosing the GPS signal just about every time I’m using the system, but the worst is when the system can’t even triangulate during a cold start.

Sometimes I’m literally unable to get a lock for as long as half and hour, and that’s after finding a completely unobstructed view of the sky.
When I would finally get a lock on the position, as soon as I would start moving, the accuracy degraded to a low as 30% at 10 meters, so even my navigation software started to give me glitches and could not even track the route.
All of this leads to some hard questions. As it stands, even a naturally occurring weather condition such as dense, high humidity cloud cover severely degrades GPS signal regardless of how many satellites are available for tracking.

Combined with localized active signal jamming, signal scrambling/hacking, and with Plasma systems like Sura, Woodpecker etc, the entire airspace of operations can be flooded with the type of interference which will render GPS signal completely useless.

The best classic examples of dedicated military satellite hard links would be the jamproof anti-ship/cruise missile data-link systems.
These systems are used to this day, and they provide the most robust and redundant solution for real data linking.

Currently MiG-31M uses the most sophisticated integrated multi-platform data-link system, which allows it to operate with out GPS navigation support.
To sum it up, GPS munitions/systems are cheep, but when used against anybody but a third world military force armed only with AKs and RPGs, they are extremely vulnerable to corruption, all of which makes them a liability rather then a cheap solution for the challenging problems of limited surgical strikes required by the battlefield of the 21st century.

posted on Mar, 17 2008 @ 08:57 PM

can you explain what you mean by a "“modified” GPS navigation system"? Did you modify it yourself?

Having flown below deck in the Chopter under some pretty bad cover I have never seen nor have had the pilot mention GPS drop out. After I read this the first time I asked one of our pilots to be sure and he has not had the issue as well. I have a magellan for our car and also have never had an issue and have driven through some unimaginable weather including in the Puget Sound Area. Are you near a reactor or base? There have been rumors that areas around Nuclear sites and bases can and have been scrambled or degraded on a selective basis.....

In regards to the Mig-31 the russians would not develop GPS guided munitions without some sort of alternative system in place which to date has not been avalible. That may change with india signed on and its supposed to be fully operational by 2009.

posted on Mar, 17 2008 @ 10:27 PM
The Russians have their own GPS system called Glonass.

What this post hints at is the ability to blind GPS guided systems with either jamming or EMP from exploding a nuke high in the atmosphere.

posted on Mar, 18 2008 @ 12:56 AM

Originally posted by sy.gunson
The Russians have their own GPS system called Glonass.

reread my post:

In regards to the Mig-31 the russians would not develop GPS guided munitions without some sort of alternative system in place which to date has not been avalible. That may change with india signed on and its supposed to be fully operational by 2009.

Yes, but its been on life support and they hope to have it back up by 2009 but its never been a focus of thiers. Sorry I did not use the term Glosnass in it but you get the idea.

What this post hints at is the ability to blind GPS guided systems with either jamming or EMP from exploding a nuke high in the atmosphere.

I doubt it. iraq tried using jammers that were supplied by the new Soviets and did not have much luck.

Indeed, it was the potential vulnerability of GPS to jamming that prompted Iraq to purchase a number of GPS jammers from Aviaconversiya Ltd., a Russian company that has been hawking GPS jammers at military hardware shows since 1999. The high-priced and high-powered GPS jammers offered by Aviaconversiya were said to be able to jam GPS signals for a radius of several miles. The Iraqi military used at least six of these high-powered GPS jammers, which cost $40,000 or more each, during the war. All six were quickly eliminated by U.S. forces over the course of two nights. Officials won�t provide details, but considering the speed with which they tackled the problem, the Iraqi GPS jammers may initially have been somewhat effective.

This tidbit was very interesting and was something I was not aware of

Iraqi efforts at jamming may also have been thwarted by a novel, signal-boosting technology--deployed in Iraq under a shroud of secrecy--that overwhelmed the GPS jammers. Airborne pseudo satellites, nicknamed "pseudolites," installed on Global Hawk or Predator unmanned drones would have created a miniature GPS constellation over Iraq. These pseudolites would have captured the weak GPS signals from space and then relayed them, at substantially higher power and at closer range, to airborne bombs and missiles or to forces on the ground. Like the satellites in space, four pseudolites would be required to plot a navigational solution.


Boeing Anti-Jam GPS System Demonstrating Outstanding Performance in Testing


The next-generation GPS III system is expected to have about 500 times the transmitter power of the current system, multiplying its resistance to jamming. With a constellation of 30-32 satellites, GPS III will have Second and Third Frequencies to contain civilian signal, (L2 = 1227.60 MHz) & (L5 = 1176.45 MHz), more robust signal transmissions, and provide real-time unaugmented 1 meter accuracy.

Now an EMP is a whole different ballgame IMHO. I have no idea if the sateleites or military recievers are hardened

posted on Mar, 18 2008 @ 07:16 PM
reply to post by FredT

can you explain what you mean by a "“modified” GPS navigation system"? Did you modify it yourself?


Are you near a reactor or base? There have been rumors that areas around Nuclear sites and bases can and have been scrambled or degraded on a selective basis.....

I’ll look into that one, but I doubt that there are any jammers present. Comm jammers yes, GPS, doubtful.

Glonass is fully operational. 36 total sats.

posted on Mar, 18 2008 @ 07:28 PM
reply to post by FredT

I doubt it. iraq tried using jammers that were supplied by the new Soviets and did not have much luck.

I’ll just give a run down on how it went.

How’s this for a start, back from 2003;

US Army awarded contracts to Russian GPS jammer

The US Army awarded $192,000 (£122,000) in contracts in 2002 to a Russian company identified in news reports as a supplier of Global Positioning System (GPS) jamming equipment to Iraq.
The reports said Moscow-based Aviaconversiya has denied selling the jamming equipment to Iraq.
On Tuesday, President Bush personally complained to Russian Premier Vladimir Putin about the sale of Russian military equipment to Iraq, according to White House spokesman Ari Fleischer.

Why all the complaints?

After a de rigueur denial of contacts with Iraq, Aviakonversiya's Antonov shared the following with "Vremya novostei" on 25 March: "We exhibited our first [GPS jamming] transmitter at the Zhukovskii air show in 1997. The Americans were horrified. End of story, as they say -- their high-precision weaponry can be wrecked quite simply."
How effective are the jamming devices? "Aviation Daily" reported on 22 September 1997 that, according to FAA spokesman Hank Price, "the type of device being marketed by Moscow-based Aviaconversia is 'nothing new,' and there are 'hundreds of these devices' on the market." A 17 November 2000 article in "Defense Daily" reported that U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin was sufficiently concerned, however, to develop a system to counter GPS jammers. The article went on to explain: "Russia's Aviaconversia currently markets a four-watt GPS jammer that only weighs about 19 pounds [8.6 kilograms] but can deny GPS reception for about 125 miles [201 kilometers]." Avoiding further specifics, "Defense Daily" merely noted that Lockheed Martin's G-STAR antijamming system ended its development phase and entered testing in 1999.
Few in Russia were inclined to cast doubts on the jammers' effectiveness. In fact, a 25 March article in "Nezavisimaya gazeta" argued that it was the jamming systems' efficacy that sparked protests from the stunned U.S.-British coalition. Citing anonymous "experts," the newspaper claimed that the Iraqis' use of jamming technology "came as a complete surprise to the attackers, who above all else feared chemical and biological weapons." The effects on the coalition's weaponry were even more surprising, as "instead of high-precision direct hits, in a number of cases 'smart' bombs and Tomahawk cruise missiles struck civilian targets far from where they had been aimed."

posted on Mar, 18 2008 @ 07:29 PM
Here’s the best one yet. Actual combat use including “improvised” GPS jammers, clearly showing how dangerous the over reliance on GPS munitions really is, back from 2002;

Is it possible for one eccentric professor to neutralize the enormous years-long labors of thousands of highly skilled scientists, engineers, and workers to develop precision "smart weapons" at the cost of tens of billions of dollars? "Easy," as they say in Russia. A St. Petersburg scientist, Dr. of Technical Sciences Valentin Vladimirovich Kashinov, has managed to do just that. With his inventions he has virtually "shut down" western efforts to create 21st century weapons, precision "smart" weapons which find targets based on information from satellites, and thus are today considered nearly one hundred percent effective. Valentin Kashinov made his "contribution" to the defense capability of the US and NATO, practically knocking out the latest, multi-billion dollar military space system, and at the same time raising doubts about the advisability of Washington's development of a national ABM defense.
Summoning Missiles to the Oven
In the heat of massed missile strikes on Belgrade and Yugoslavian air defense radar positions in the spring of 1999, the telephone rang one night in a St. Petersburg apartment.
It was the chairman of the radio club of Yugoslavia, Khranislav Milocevic. Valentin Kashinov answered. The Yugoslav described the great destruction and casualties caused by strikes of NATO aircraft, "HARM" air-to-ground missiles, and Tomahawk cruise missiles. Milocevic asked for help in fending off these bombardments. Valentin Vladimirovich immediately inquired if they had any microwave ovens. This was followed by a puzzled silence, and then: "Of course!" Kashinov advised that they get some ordinary microwave ovens and aim them upwards, with doors open, around an installation they wanted to protect, and then turn them on. Khranislav understood at once. The fact was that an American HARM missile would home in on any strong source of radio emission in the 400-10,000 MHz range, exactly the range of conventional household microwave ovens. Literally the next day following this conversation, NATO forced bombed their own embassies in Belgrade.

[edit: added link & clipped quoted content]
Mod Note: External Source Tags – Please Review This Link.

[edit on 18-3-2008 by 12m8keall2c]

posted on Mar, 18 2008 @ 07:30 PM
And for the most important part, which fully supports my original post;

Stealth Armor Covers the Whole Country
It should be noted that during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, the Russian scientist sent Brussels a description of the anti-weapon against the NAVSTAR GPS system, warning that if they did not cease their outrages, he would publish methods for "rubbing out" other navigational systems as well, for example TACAN, DME, LORAN, etc.
And these means enormous losses for the West. It has been calculated that because of Kashinov's mini-jammers, which virtually put the NAVSTAR system out of commission, the Americans lost 80 billion dollars and 20 years of work by their scientists. According to available information, today they are trying to develop a new system, since the GPS system cannot be improved, and this will require time and money. So the US will hardly be able to develop an ABM system with guaranteed effectiveness.
You see, the arsenal of anti-weapons includes devices which create short, or as they are called, "nanosecond" pulses of electromagnetic radiation of enormous power, exceeding the power of a nuclear burst. When they act on modern high-tech microcircuits (transistor diameter less than the thickness of a human hair), in the best case these emissions create system glitches, and in the worst case they put the microcircuits out of commission. Naturally, the weapon controlled by the computer which is destroyed by the pulse is also knocked out, be it a missile, ship, or tank.
Portable space navigational system jammers produced by a Russian company were first displayed at the Moscow International Aerospace Show in 1997, provoking genuine shock and horror among military users of these navigation systems.

[edit: clipped quted content]
Mod Note: External Source Tags – Please Review This Link.

[edit on 18-3-2008 by 12m8keall2c]

posted on Mar, 18 2008 @ 09:13 PM
Sorry, how does using microwaves to seduce HARMs support the thrust of the topic concerning GPS jamming? Am I missing something?

That said, either Iraq didn't learn the lessons of Yugoslavia, or the US corrected the flaws in their systems. Certainly the dedicated Iraqi GPS jammers didn't achieve a whole lot, though I'm sure the Russian's got some good lessons from the experience...

posted on Jun, 30 2016 @ 11:59 AM
Guys, if you're so fed up with GPS systems, then just get a GPS blocker. This might solve your problem of over reliance.

posted on Jul, 1 2016 @ 09:10 PM
The Russian systems are very real. Don't forget the rw-170 Iran captured using some technique probably acquired from the Russians.

The specific receiver destroying technology is something the US was very interested in during the mid 90's.

This technology has amazingly broad potential to revolutionize technology in many fields. The technology is known as pulsed power generation. It involves explosives and a specialized circuitry. Essentially the explosives create a pumped and tunable frequency pulse with extremely high power driving it.

Essentially your own antennae become your weak point as they are bombarded with several Kilowatt to megawatt pulses that surge through connected systems possibly damaging radars fly by wire modules etc.

Basically they're non nuclear EMP generators. There may be some that don't require a new pulse generator each time. Also I've read about versions that are highly directional, allowing them to flood a target with enough power over a short duration to overcome EMP hardening.

top topics


log in