My thanks to a reader for tipping me off about new threats to the GPS system which is vital to the USA’s (and the world’s) military and civilian communications systems. First let’s examine ways terrorists could use new GPS-jamming technologies to attack vital infrastructures, and then we’ll focus on wartime applications.
The first link relates that if a portable GPS jammer was activated atop a tall building in London, it could disrupt aircraft navigations throughout much of the city. Obviously, the same thing could be done at any large (or small) city in the world. Presumably, a GPS-guided auto-pilot system on an airplane could be tricked into flying itself straight into the ground rather than landing at an airport properly. Perhaps some inexplicable airplane crashes have already been caused by such devices. GPS jamming device can also make GPS-equipped cars “invisible” to GPS detection, or transmit a phony reading to GPS systems. Such jammers can reportedly be bought cheaply on the internet so many such devices are, no doubt, already in the hands of those who could use them for hostile purposes.
The second link notes that GPS jammers can also be used to attack “critical national infrastructure,” such as applications within the transportation, agriculture, mining, road building and mining industries “and a zillion more.” Apparently, GPS signals are actually rather weak at the earth’s surface so any sufficiently powerful jammer can negate GPS signals. It is also possible to mask the locations of ships at sea or deceive GPS monitors re: where certain ships really are. That capacity has obvious intelligence and military usages.
The third link reports that world militaries are already developing and deploying GPS-blocking technologies. Iraq reportedly used early Russian-made GPS blockers against the US forces in the war with Saddam Hussein’s military forces so military GPS-blocking technologies have been utilized for many years. The GPS system is not without its defenses though. Sophisticated means have been developed to locate and destroy GPS-blocking devices, as the third link below describes. North Korea is building GPS-blocking technologies, and a report in 2007 indicated that China has already deployed “special vans equipped with sophisticated electronics designed to jam GPS signals.” China is also building its own satellite navigation system to compete with the US-built GPS satellite system. That makes me curious about one possibility. Given that China has already demonstrated an ability to destroy American satellites in certain earth orbits, could the navigational satellites put into space by China have a dual purpose? They could function as navigational satellites in peacetime, but are they also equipped to attack western satellites in the event of war by transforming themselves into kinetic satellite killers? Just a thought. If I, a common layman, can think of this possible dual use for Chinese satellites, I’m sure the Chinese and western intelligence services have thought of this too.
Also, if China has built GPS-blocking vans to deceive GPS signals, have they already positioned some of them in Iran near the Iranian nuclear facilities which might be attacked in an Israeli or American raid? Bombs equipped with JDAMS guidance devices and cruise missiles could be electronically deceived into hitting a harmless location instead of the intended targets via GPS-blocking devices. I certainly hope the U.S. Navy has installed GPS-blocking devices on all its ships so that no enemy cruise missiles can target U.S. ships via GPS guidance systems. Terrorists could also benefit from GPS-blocking devices by installing them on their cars so GPS-guided munitions can be misdirected or confused about how to locate the vehicles in which terrorists are riding.
The world of electronic warfare has greatly changed how wars are (and will be) fought. When the great age-ending World War III prophesied in Ezekiel 38-39 occurs at the very end of our current “latter day” period, all known and secret electronic warfare techniques will be used to devastate nations, armies, fleets, warplanes, satellites, civilian infrastructures, etc. That is when we will find out just how advanced these technologies really are!