Wednesday, December 7, 2022

U.S. Army discloses some effective ‘GPS spoofing’ countermeasures

GPS-dependent positioning, navigation, and timing synchronization procedures have a special influence on the conduct of modern warfare.

Currently, ‘GPS spoofing’ is a much-discussed cyber-threat to modern military systems. Spoofing can generate position and timing inaccuracies on a battlefield, resulting in the potential lead to the uselessness of modern weapons systems.

According to the latest analysis reports, GPS spoofing threats are increased after the Russian military intervention in Ukraine and Syria.


Russian-linked electronic warfare equipment which creates false GPS signals has been used thousands of times – including outside of the country’s own territories. Using data collected by the International Space Station (ISS), researchers found GPS spoofing technology being used in Russian controlled areas of Syria.

A new report from C4ADS, a non-profit organization focussing on conflict and security, found 9,883 cases of GNSS spoofing. Because of the widespread use of GPS-style technologies – in navigation, mobile phone networks, and stock markets – false signals have the potential to cause widespread disruption.

According to the latest report of the Army News Service, while GPS continues to be the “gold standard” for PNT capabilities, the U.S. Army has taken a layered approach to ensure accurate position and timing data, he said. This approach includes the integration of non-radio frequency technologies on the battlefield, such as inertial-based navigation systems, chip-embedded atomic clocks, and Soldier-worn or vehicle-mounted odometers.

For example, industry officials are currently developing and testing a boot-sensor prototype that tracks a Soldier’s rate of movement, he said.

“It is like a pedometer,” Col. Nick Kioutas, the PNT project manager said at a media event hosted by Program Executive Office Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors, or PEO IEW&S. “If you knew you were walking at a certain pace and all of a sudden your system jumped a kilometer — you know you’re being spoofed.”

The Army also looks to secure access to alternative sources of PNT data through other GPS networks. Program officials have also considered the use of anti-jam antennas on vehicles to ensure access to GPS and PNT signals, Kioutas said.

“Our systems will integrate all these data sources to determine which one we can trust the most,” he said. “If our GPS is spoofed, we can look at our inertial navigation system [or other layered systems], and compare it to one of these alternative signals” to get accurate PNT data.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.