Russia suspected of disrupting GPS signals over Poland and Baltic Sea

A line of modern Russian military naval battleships in the Baltic Sea.
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

According to Poland’s air traffic authority, there has been severe disruption to GPS signals in the north and east of the country in the last weeks and pilots have been warned.

It is suspected that the interference is the effect of Russian activity and is connected to the presence of Russian forces in the Baltic, where a system for electronic warfare was spotted on one Russian vessel that is capable of interfering with signals for satellite navigation of drones and missiles. 

The greatest problems have been experienced over the Baltic Sea, but problems are also expected in central Poland in the vicinity of the city of Łódz. A communique issued to pilots warns that unplanned military activities connected with national security may be expected. 

The interference is not likely to be the effect of NATO activities but external factors beyond Poland’s borders. Sekurak, a Polish internet company specializing in security, posted a map showing the range of GPS signal disruptions on Feb. 2.

According to Deutsche Welle, the German ministry has also reported disruption to GPS signals, which is being investigated in cooperation with the military. No research findings have been made publicly available, but the broadcaster reports that Russia is the main suspect, with the country engaged in blocking electronic signals into its cities. Its army has also been using its own satellite navigation system for its drone offensive in Ukraine. 

While the Germans do not fear for their security, they have confirmed that some air routes have been changed and some flights have had to be canceled.

Military sources believe that the disruption to GPS signals is part of the cyber offensive aimed at weakening the West’s navigation systems. As a result, Germans are testing an alternative navigation system in the Baltic region, called R-MODE, which allows ships to determine their location and transmit the data even when there is disruption to GPS signals. An alternative system is also available for aircraft. 

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