Russia may be behind a rise in jamming attacks on neighboring countries, a top general said.
Finland and Poland have seen a surge in GPS interference, he said, as has the Black Sea.
“I think they are learning and testing,” Martin Herem told Bloomberg.
Russia may be behind a surge in jamming attacks on neighboring countries with the goal of experimenting with them, a senior NATO general said.
Martin Herem, the commander of the Estonian Defense Forces, told Bloomberg that there has been a rise in GPS signal interference since last year, with a jump in attacks in a region spanning Finland, Poland, and the Black Sea region.
“I think they are learning and testing,” he told the outlet.
Herem’s guess is that Russia is testing its electronic warfare systems on neighboring countries in anticipation of a future confrontation with NATO.
“Russia has demonstrated its electronic warfare capabilities elsewhere, not just in Ukraine and the Baltic countries,” Herem told the outlet. “They’re definitely quite strong in this.”
This is important — Russia’s growing skill with electronic warfare is shaping the battlefield in Ukraine. It would be a huge factor, too, in the nightmare scenario of a conflict between Russia and NATO.
Russia’s electronic warfare is so intense that GPS interference was reported in Poland on January 10 and January 16, and in the south Baltic Sea between December 25 and 27, the Institute for the Study of War reported last month.
Joakim Paasikivi of the Swedish Defense University said at the time that the interference in neighboring countries was probably caused by Russia.
“I believe this is part of Russian influence activities, or so-called hybrid warfare,” Paasikivi told Swedish broadcaster SVT. “This may be Russia’s way of sowing uncertainty and showing strength.”
Jukka Savolainen, director of the Finnish Center of Excellence for Hybrid Warfare, echoed Paasikivi’s remarks, saying Russia was likely responsible for the interference.
According to Space Watch Global, Russia has been working on creating a range of electronic warfare tools to interfere with satellite communications.
These include R-330Zh Zhitel, a mobile truck-mounted jamming-communication station, and Bylina-MM, a system designed to suppress communications satellites, per the magazine.
They use high-power transmissions from truck-mounted antennas to overwhelm all receivers set to satellite frequencies.
Space-warfare experts told Business Insider last week that increasing jamming levels were part of Russia’s attempt to cut off Ukraine’s access to Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites.
While Russia’s jammers haven’t severed Ukraine’s access to Starlink satellites, they have made Ukraine’s drone forces less effective and disrupted Ukraine’s drones, forcing Ukrainian operators to move closer to their targets on the front lines.
In response, Ukrainian troops have been targeting them, destroying a Tirada and a “Leer-2” electronic system last July, a “Pole-21” electronic-warfare system, and a Svet-KU last November.
Ukraine also struck a Tirada-2 portable radio-electronic suppression system in January.
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