RealNews

Pentagon says Iraqi GPS jammers picked off

The jamming devices Iraqis have used to try to thwart the U.S. military’s vital satellite positioning system have so far proved easy prey: When they’re switched on, they become beacons for bombers. On Tuesday, the U.S. Air Force said it destroyed a half dozen Iraqi jammers that were apparently attempting to send U.S. bombs and missiles off course. “In order for them to jam they have to light up,” said Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Christy Nolta. “If they light up we can find them. So it may work once.” White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Monday that Russian companies had provided global positioning system, or GPS, jamming equipment to the Iraqis. Russia denies supplying the equipment. The gear is designed to thwart signals beamed to earth from a constellation of more than two dozen U.S. satellites that are the lead navigation tool for everything in the Armed Forces from individual soldiers to tanks and bombs. The jammers overwhelm GPS signals, which are relatively weak. The Pentagon has long acknowledged that its navigation and guidance systems can be flummoxed by interference, and has sought to install weapons and vehicles with backup guidance systems – or ensure troops could use old-fashioned maps and compasses in the event that GPS is blocked. Full Story

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