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Thousands of Brit holiday flights 'attacked by Russian jamming' in safety threat

Thousands of Brit holiday flights 'attacked by Russian jamming' in safety threat

Flights from many UK airlines are said to have been affected in recent months

Thousands of British holiday flights are suspected of being ‘attacked by Russian jamming’ in a safety threat.

And not the type of attacking you might instantly think of with guns and bombs and fighter planes swooping at your little Ryanair flight.

But instead, electronic attacks.

There are fears Russia is using a ‘extremely dangerous’ tactic on our planes.

Jamming attacks cripple sat-navs so they’re useless, which means aircrafts will be unsure of what route they’re meant to be on and will struggle to tell others where they actually are.

Many UK flights are said to have been affected. (Getty Stock Photo)
Many UK flights are said to have been affected. (Getty Stock Photo)

It is estimated that in eight months up until the end of March, there were 2,309 Ryanair flights and 1,368 Wizz Air planes that logged sat-nav issues in the Baltic region, near Russia. Plus, around 82 British Airways flights, seven Jet2, seven TUI and four easyJet flights are said to also have been affected.

With this jamming, it’s reported that bogus data was even involved, causing planes to swerve in order to avoid ‘phantom obstacles’ that didn’t actually exist.

Ryanair told The Sun: “If any location systems, such as GPS, are not functioning then the crew switch to alternate systems.”

The outlet also reported the interference from Vladimir Putin’s Russia included jamming and spoofing.

Jamming drowns out genuine signals from satellites, including GPS and Europe’s Galileo system, while spoofing uses these bogus signals to trick aircrafts.

The Sun also quote an ‘industry source’ that said: “The information from the Russians is spurious. It is extremely dangerous.”

'Jamming' targets the satnavs. (Getty Stock Photo)
'Jamming' targets the satnavs. (Getty Stock Photo)

In January, The European Aviation Safety Agency said there were issues with both jamming and spoofing but did not comment on who or what was behind them.

According to the outlet, Luc Tytgat of the agency said: “We have seen a sharp rise in attacks on these systems, which poses a safety risk.”

While you’re on board a jammed flight as a passenger, you’ll normally be totally unaware anything out of the ordinary is happening.

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.”

An easyJet spokesperson told LADbible: "There are multiple navigation systems onboard commercial aircraft as well as procedures in place which mitigate against issues with GPS that can occur for various reasons."

LADbible has contacted the Ministry of Defence, Wizz Air, British Airways, TUI and Jet2 for comment.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Photos

Topics: Russia, Travel, Technology, UK News

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