The GPS was blocked, and he was forced to reverse course

Russian cyberattacks continue unabated in what is increasingly evolving as cyber warfare waged silently. The last episode sees…

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Russian cyberattacks continue unabated in what is increasingly evolving as cyber warfare waged silently. The final episode features two Finnair flights traveling from Helsinki to Tartu, a city in Estonia, in full NATO airspace. Upon arriving at the destination airport, the pilots experienced an attack on their navigation systems. The GPS devices were completely blocked leaving the crew with no signal to continue on to their destination. As night fell, the two flights, one on Thursday evening and the other on Friday evening, found themselves unable to land, forcing the pilots to reverse the controls and return the plane to the departure airport.

Electronic warfare, tourist flights attacked by Russian Baltic jammer: GPS blocked on more than 45,000 UK planes in just a few months

Russian attack on Finnish flights

“Midway through its route, the plane turned back, about 15 minutes before landing. The pilot said that approaching Tartu at night required an accurate GPS signal, and there was no signal due to the interference they were experiencing, a passenger on the plane that was forced to change course last year told Estonian newspaper ERR on Friday night. Just 24 hours earlier, another Finnair plane traveling from Helsinki to Tartu had to turn back due to GPS interference. “Our pilots are well aware of GPS disturbances and the aircraft’s systems detect disturbances quickly,” a Finnair spokesperson said. “Our aircraft use multiple sources to calculate the aircraft's position, allowing us to maintain hours of navigation accuracy even when GPS is not working. “Most airports have standard approach equipment that allows landing even without GPS, but Tartu is one of the few airports where approach procedures require an accurate signal, which is why the landing was not successful,” he added. For this reason, the plane had to return to Helsinki.

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Poland wants a 'NATO shield': the Kaliningrad Knot, from Russian nuclear weapons to the Baltic jammer (which blocks GPS). What happens

GPS is blocked over Estonia

GPS interference has increased recently and has a strong impact on air traffic procedures, Loti-Trin Naroske, head of communications at the Estonian Air Navigation Services (Lannuliiklusteeninduse AS), told ERR. “At Tartu Airport, aircraft can land mainly using GPS-based procedures, with visual approach capabilities also available in good weather. Tallinn is a controlled airspace where EANS provides air traffic control services, Narusek said. GPS jamming has been ongoing since late 2022, and it is believed, with several incidents to back it up, that Russia and its Baltic jammers based in the Kaliningrad region are behind it.

Russian Baltic jammer

For months, significant interference in the navigation systems of aircraft flying over the Balkan region in the Suwalki Corridor has been reported. After numerous analyses, it became clear that Kaliningrad, a Russian region, is the center from which these unrest will arise. The Baltic jamming device, which Moscow wanted to influence air traffic in the region, is scheduled to be stationed there. The first signs date back several months ago when a sudden drop in GPS signals was reported from Warsaw to Berlin. According to the transmission map drawn by gpsjam.org in those days, the highest level of interference would have been directly over Kaliningrad. In recent days, the British Air Force published a report showing that more than 45,000 flights were affected by interference in their navigational systems while flying over the Balkans. Aviation sources said: “Russia is suspected of launching very serious cyber attacks against thousands of British tourist flights.”

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