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APRIL 2021

Russia Jammed British Planes’ GPS Signals Over Cyprus: Report

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Russia Jammed British Planes' GPS Signals Over Cyprus: Report

Royal Air Force Tornado F3 aircraft. IMAGE: Reuters/David Moir

Military aircraft of British Royal Air Forces (RAF) faced hostile jamming of their GPS signals while flying from Cyprus, according to the report by The Times published on March 19. Russia is believed to be behind these non-military attacks. According to the sources in the UK military intelligence, Russia has repeatedly attempted to disrupt satellite communications on British military aircraft taking off from the Akrotiri airbase on Cyprus.

“Russia tried to jam the communications of the planes taking off, which is part of non-military confrontational activity,” anonymous source said, noting that such actions were carried out a transport plane for no apparent reason against .

Typhoon and F-35 fighter jets, A400M transport aircraft and Voyager troop planes are known to be hosted on RAF Akrotiri airbase on Cyprus. Some sources pointed to regular attempts to interfere with the satellite communications of the A400M transport aircraft.

The jamming has not resulted in any serious incident.

Russia Jammed British Planes' GPS Signals Over Cyprus: Report

Akrotiri airbase, Source: DigitalGlobe, April 2015

GPS-jamming equipment can be operated by aircraft, UAVs. More often it is carried on ground vehicles. The source of the GPS jamming on the Akrotiri airbase is believed to be from Syrian territory. As there are no evidence if Syrian forces have a necessary equipment to conduct such attacks on their own, Russia became the main suspect.

Britain maintains a permanent military presence in Cyprus. RAF Akrotiri airbase is known to be used as a staging ground for fly missions over Syria and Iraq, as well as a base of UK military intelligence.

Russia Jammed British Planes' GPS Signals Over Cyprus: Report

Akrotiri air base. Source: Wikipedia

The claims on jamming of RAF communications was made on the eve of publication of the report on new financial priorities for British armed forces in accordance to the newly released review of security, defence, development and foreign policy. In particular, it will outline the actions in ‘grey zone’ conflicts.

Taking into account the on-going media campaign against Russia, accusations of meddling in U.S. elections or provoking military escalation in Eastern Ukraine, another blaming from London is just in time to justify any British military buildup, as Moscow has been called the most ‘acute threat’ to U.K. security.

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