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European planes struck by mystery GPS jamming | World News

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European planes struck by mystery GPS jamming | World News

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A pilot said it was ‘not like anything we’ve seen before’ (Picture: Getty Images)

More than 1,600 planes have been hit by GPS interference in less than two days, in what is thought to be an effort by Russia to create an ‘atmosphere of threat’.

Many of the aircraft affected by the mysterious jamming of navigational equipment over eastern Europe were carrying civilians.

Such interference poses serious issues for pilots, as it can force them to contend with fake signals that give false information about the plane’s position in the sky.

A map posted on X by an open-source intelligence account that tracks interference shows incidents widely spread across Poland and southern Sweden.

The rise in interference over recent months has been blamed on jammers in Russia’s Kaliningrad region.

The oblast, which sits separate from the rest of the country between Nato members Poland and Lithuania, is a base for one of Russia’s naval fleets.

A Lithuanian defence official told Newsweek: ‘Russian armed forces have a wide spectrum of military equipment dedicated for GNSS interference, including jamming and spoofing, at varying distances, duration and intensity.’

Those capabilities are used to create an ‘atmosphere of threat and a sense of helplessness in society’, a Polish Defense Ministry official said.

Swedish Lieutenant Colonel Joakim Paasikivi agreed that the jamming is likely to be the result of ‘Russian influence activities or so-called hybrid warfare’.

The country is believed to have ‘significant’ electronic warfare resources in Kaliningrad.

General Martin Herem, the head of Estonia’s Defence Forces, said Russia’s skill in the field is ‘quite strong’.

OPS Group, a collective of pilots and dispatchers, have reported similar incidents in the Middle East.

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They claimed that ‘aircrafts are being targeted with fake GPS signals, quickly leading to complete loss of navigational capability’ in the area.

‘This not traditional GPS jamming,’ the group said.

‘These recent reports are GPS spoofing—and even then, not like anything we’ve seen before.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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