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GPS jammer attack causes the U.S. RC-7B aircraft emergency landing

by Rus Abz 2011-09-13 13:51


U.S. RC-7B aircraft emergency landing - North Korea GPS jammer attackThe Global Positioning System suite of services in the United States is freely available for any GPS device from handheld to Avionics and Marine GPS Control Command Center. The European Union is working towards creation an alternative global positioning system under EU control, the Galileo. The U.S. GPS standardized frequencies receiving devices are the main navigational component on board of domestic aircraft and marine vessel with the worldwide reach. The openness of the GPS standard based navigational equipment and its reliability and precision makes it widely usable but at the same time vulnerable to GPS jammers which can disrupt the marine GPS and aircraft GPS  navigation system. 

Russia has been developing the long range high power GPS jamming technologies, along the lines with improving their own GLONASS and GLONASS-K global navigational system, for quite awhile, some of the jammers were made available to other countries, including North Korea. North Korea bought, examined and modified most powerful Russian jammers. The North Korea GPS jammer design evolved from the reverse engineering of known Russian models. The improved GPS jammer broadcasts at well known frequencies targeting GPS guided bombs and missiles spoiling their aim, and capable of disrupting other avionics and marine GPS navigation systems. GPS guided weapons and GPS control centers are used by the U.S., NATO, Israel and some friendly to the U.S. Middle Eastern countries. The broadcast jamming signal could be detected up to a hundred kilometers, therefore the GPS interference jammer sends jamming packets at random time intervals.

GPS long range jammers In the news the U.S. released special report revealing the North Korean GPS jammer activity which disrupted the U.S. RC-7 reconnaissance aircraft GPS navigational system. The US RC-7B aircraft performed an emergency landing. The RC-7B aircraft had to land after 45 minutes in flight after disruption of the plane's GPS navigational functions by high power jamming signals. Usual response for GPS jamming is to destroy the jammer's transmission system facility suite, which has been identified as one of the most powerful GPS jammer systems in the world, and located at Haeju and Kaesong in North Korea. This GPS jammer installation can disrupt the onboard GPS navigational devices within the range of more than 60 miles. However the bombing of the GPS jammer facilities have not been enforced, as such a response could lead to worsening the fight between North and South.

The North Korean jammer touted as superior to the Russian originally acquired GPS jammer system has been offered for sale to Middle Eastern Hezbollah, Syria and Iran. The U.S. has been studying the jamming specifics and transmittal patterns generated by Russian and Korean GPS jamming systems against avionics targets. There are grounds to believe the U.S. anti-jamming technology is capable to work around the latest Russian and North Korean jammer innovations. The recent incident with the U.S. RC-7B aircraft and its successful emergency landing under continuous GPS jammer attack demonstrates the U.S. plane capability to defend against the jammer. In case the North Korean advanced jammer model ends up in hands of U.S. Air Force anti-jammer subject matter specialists, such as Raytheon (NYSE: RTN), with further examination the anti-jamming technology and defense methods against the most advanced GPS jamming attacks could be developed. The Raytheon GPS OCX anti-jamming technology - Global Positioning System Next Generation Operational Control System, the GPS OCX - uses advanced predictive algorithms, innovative atomic clock and new ephemeris updates.

Next generation GPS OCX system

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