Is this where Putin is jamming hols flights from? Radar analysis finds ‘black hole’ caused by Vlad’s electronic weapons

RADAR analysis might have found ground zero of the electronic attacks disrupting thousands of European flights.

Baltic leaders warned of a looming air disaster if the GPS jamming blamed on Moscow continues.

GettyA radar analysis reportedly found a ‘black hole’ caused by Vlad’s electronic weapons[/caption]

Two Finnair planes had to turn back after having their GPS signals disrupted and struggled to landGetty

This week, Finland’s national airline Finnair said that it would suspend flights to the Estonian city of Tartu for a month.

Two of Finnair’s planes were forced to turn around last week after their GPS signals were disrupted and they were struggling to land.

However, the aircraft are just the latest victims of Putin’s electronic attacks that have already affected tens of thousands commercial flights.

The electronic warfare can make satnavs useless, therefore pilots are unsure of routes and struggle to tell others where they are.

Bogus data also forces planes to swerve and dive to avoid phantom obstacles that were not really there.

Earlier this week, Baltic ministers Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania all separately warned that Russia’s GPS jamming risked causing an air disaster.

Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, electronic jamming has sharply increased in the Baltic region – but The Sun recently revealed it had spread across Europe.

Open-source analysts studying the positions of planes experiencing jamming believe it is originating from Kaliningrad, a Russian exclave wedged between Poland and Lithuania.

However, a new analysis suggests the black hole is elsewhere – mainland Russia.

By triangulating data collected by drone flights as well as the positions of the targeted aircraft, Markus Jonsson, a pseudonymous analyst, argued on X, it was coming from St Petersburg.

A source with access to private data confirmed to The Economist that their is clear evidence of Russian jamming in that area.

It also corresponds to the location of several known Russian military sites.

There are also reports a top secret Russian jamming weapon known as “Tobol” is behind GPS interference on Nato’s eastern flank.

Its not known if Russia is directly trying to interfere with commercial flights.

A likely reason is that the jamming signals are attempting to protect Russian military targets from the threat of Ukrainian drone attacks and civilian flights are a byproduct.

However, The Sun last week revealed a worrying, widespread pattern.

Russian jamming shows Putin ‘knows no end to evil,’ says Shapps

BY Jerome Starkey & Iona Cleave

DEFENCE Secretary Grant Shapps told The Sun’s brand new World at War show that Russia’s electronic jamming was “evil”.

Mr Shapps said he “utterly condemned” Russia’s jamming of thousands of commercial European flights and argued it was “irresponsible” for Moscow “to block GPS knowing that you’re blocking civilian airlines”.

He said the spoofing and jamming was again a clear example that “Putin just knows basically no end to his own evil is my view.”

In response to the now widespread issue, Shapps revealed that the UK is developing systems for aircraft that do not rely on GPS to tell them where they are.

When pressed on whether this was needed for civilian aircraft, Shapps firmly answered: “Yes.”

He added: “I could confirm, actually, that defence research and development is at the cutting edge of doing even more with this.

“And I imagine that in years to come, probably all aircraft will have many alternative versions of navigation for exactly this reason.”

Shapps speaking on The Sun’s new World of War show with Jerome Starkey and Iona Cleave

In eight months to the end of March, 2,309 Ryanair flights and 1,368 Wizz Air planes logged satnav problems in the Baltic region.

Also hit were 82 British Airways flights, seven from Jet2, four EasyJet flights and seven operated by TUI.

In total, roughly 46,000 aircraft logged problems with GPS over the Baltic Sea in the same period.

The Sun joined forces with researchers at GPSJAM.org to analyse public flight logs and discovered jamming hotspots in the Baltic but also in the Black Sea and eastern Mediterranean.

An industry source said: “The information from the Russians is spurious. It is extremely dangerous.”

Defence officials have also accused Russia of jamming GPS signals over RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus.

Spoofing and jamming is going on in Ukraine where Kyiv and  Moscow are trying to scupper the accuracy of missiles and drones.

War expert Dr Jack Watling, at the RUSI think tank, said: “The Russians have long used GPS jamming as a harassment tool, projecting it across Nato borders.

“Wherever there is a large Russian garrison you are seeing GPS denial and there is one in Kaliningrad.

“They just have that stuff switched on because there are standing orders.”

The Sun was on board an RAF jet with Defence Secretary Grant Shapps last month when it was jammed as it flew through Poland, near Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave.

Onboard with Shapps when plane hacked

The Sun’s Defence Editor Jerome Starkey was onboard Defence Secretary Grant Shapps’ plane when it was hit by jamming in March.

The GPS and other signals were blocked for almost 30 minutes on the the RAF Dassault Falcon 900, in an act of apparent “electronic warfare”.

It happened as Mr Shapps flew past Kaliningrad, a Russian military playground that neighbours Poland.

Shapps – a qualified pilot – was assured the electronic warfare attack did not affect the aircraft’s safety.

He was flying back from Poland’s Szymany airport after visiting British troops taking part in Steadfast Defender, the largest Nato war games since the end of the Cold War.

A defence source slammed the jamming as “wildly irresponsible”.

They said: “While the RAF are well prepared to deal with this, it still puts an unnecessary risk on civilian aircraft and could potentially endanger people’s lives.

“There is no excuse for this and it’s widely irresponsible on Russia’s part.”

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