Russian Air Defense System Disrupts GPS of Planes Approaching Ben Gurion

ben gurion, russia israel
An El Al planes at Ben Gurion international airport. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Defense systems activated by Russia in the vicinity of Latikia, have in recent weeks been disrupting electromagnetic waves in the eastern Mediterranean region, interfering with planes approaching to land, the Kan public broadcaster reported on Monday night.

Israel has sent a message to Russia demanding a stop to the activity, which interferes with the GPS of incoming planes at Ben Gurion Airport.

In the meantime, the IDF said it was taking appropriate action to defend against the threat to air navigation, as part of its overall multifront defense of the national security.

Russia has reportedly refused to comply, defending the Syrian operations as “defensive actions” designed to protect their troops in the country.

In Israel, there are those who interpreted the incidents as Russia’s way of showing who’s in charge in the region, after a series of alleged Israeli airstrikes at Iranian targets in Syria.

One pilot told the station that the interference, known as “spoofing,” has caused pilots to have to make abrupt adjustments, such as when a plane’s GPS guidance system tells it is in a different place than it really is, or that it suddenly has to pull up immediately.

This is not the first time the problem has arisen. In 2019, Israel civil air authorities complained publicly that similar Russian interference was having a “significant impact on all aspects of operating a plane from the cockpit, as well as on managing air traffic.”

At that time, Russia dismissed the allegations as fake news, but the problem was dealt with, until recently.

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