HomeNewsArticle Display

GPS jamming no 'silver bullet' for potential adversaries

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- Senior Airman Phillip Knight from Sunnyvale, Calif., a weapons loader with the 77th Bomb Squadron, here prepares an inert 2,000 pound Joint Direct Attack Munition.  JDAMs use the global positioning system for precision guidance. Iraq and other potential adversaries may have the ability to jam GPS signals, but Air Force war planners are not too worried about the effect of jamming on precision munitions (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Dave Nolan)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- Senior Airman Phillip Knight from Sunnyvale, Calif., a weapons loader with the 77th Bomb Squadron, here prepares an inert 2,000 pound Joint Direct Attack Munition. JDAMs use the global positioning system for precision guidance. Iraq and other potential adversaries may have the ability to jam GPS signals, but Air Force war planners are not too worried about the effect of jamming on precision munitions (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Dave Nolan)

WASHINGTON -- Iraq and other potential adversaries may have the ability to jam global positioning system signals, but Air Force war planners are not too worried about the effect of jamming on precision munitions.

In fact, it is a challenge they have been anticipating for a long time, and they are confident in their ability to overcome it.

"From the day we built GPS, we've been working on ways to overcome jamming," said Lt. Col. John Carter, chief of space requirements at the Pentagon. "We're very confident we can do that."

GPS is a constellation of satellites that emit electronic signals while orbiting the Earth. A GPS receiver gathers the signals from multiple satellites overhead, then triangulates those signals to calculate its precise location. Those receivers can be hand-held or mounted in ships, aircraft, vehicles and precision guided munitions.

The United States routinely installs GPS guidance packages in standard 500- 1,000- and 2,000-pound bombs to create the Joint Direct Attack Munitions. The JDAM typically strikes within 13 meters of its target. According to reports, Iraq has acquired several Russian-made transmitters capable of jamming the GPS signal.

In general terms, someone could "jam" a radio signal by transmitting a more powerful signal on the same frequency. Carter equates the practice with trying to listen to a conversation on the other side of the room while another person shouts in your face.

While the tactic may seem easy to accomplish, Carter said he would not encourage anyone to take the job.

"Anyone who (transmits) on the battlefield can be found, and anyone who can be found can be targeted," he said. "When the bad guys are picking jobs, (they) don't want to pick 'GPS jammer.'"

A GPS jammer is not a silver bullet to prevent precision bombardment, Carter said, because the Air Force has more than one way to put steel on target.

"Oftentimes we get sucked into looking at individual engagements, and warfare is not an individual engagement," he said. "It's the sum of all the actions you take. We have a lot of arrows in our quiver."

Those include the inertial navigation system within the JDAM, its primary navigation system, which is fully capable of guiding the weapon to its target. The Air Force also employs laser- and optically-guided munitions, as well as free-falling bombs.

The Air Force also is looking ahead to ensure future GPS satellites are more jam-resistant, beginning with the current crop of modified GPS IIRs.

"One of the features of the modification is something called flexible power, which increases the power level radiated from the GPS," said Peter B. Teets, undersecretary of the Air Force and chief of the National Reconnaissance Office.

That power increase will provide some anti-jam capability, but Teets said the real improvement will come when the GPS III is introduced in about 10 years.

"We recognize the fact that GPS can be jammed," Teets said. "We're taking steps to make it much more jam-resistant on the satellite side, on the control-element side and on the user-equipment side.

"I think we're doing the necessary smart things to enable GPS to serve us well," Teets said.

Engage

Twitter
RT @NASA: Docking confirmed! @AstroBehnken and @Astro_Doug officially docked to the @Space_Station at 10:16am ET: https://t.co/hCM4UvbwjR
Twitter
RT @NASA_TDRS: Dragon has docked! Crewed Dragon, with @AstroBehnken and @Astro_Doug on board, are connected to @Space_Station, with @NASA’s…
Twitter
Rise and shine! A KC-46 Pegasus at Altus AFB as the 97th Air Mobility Wing prepares to conduct a severe weather e… https://t.co/QBT5nuXMqx
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: An amazing story of resilience & grit sure to inspire you! Airman Shannon Busch triumphed over incredible odds to graduate…
Twitter
.@HQAirUniversity's Holm Center Chaplain's thoughts on distance. #ReadyAF #COVID19 #Resilient https://t.co/svDFNqIqNX
Twitter
U.S. Air Force Capt. Kristoffer Wiese, 480th Fighter Squadron pilot, holds his F-16 Fighting Falcon in position whi… https://t.co/Yb1RX4fUKn
Twitter
RT @1stAF: .@1stAF's #AFRCC assisted with the #rescue of an injured person from an ATV accident. #RescueAirmen from the #58thRQS and #66thR
Twitter
Multinational, multiservice joint integration training of Agile Combat Employment concepts between the USAF,… https://t.co/Jdi2BKcwlQ
Twitter
We’re back. 🇺🇸 #AimHigh https://t.co/FUVpIOM06K
Twitter
RT @NASAKennedy: After a successful launch at 3:22 p.m. ET, @SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft with @AstroBehnken and @Astro_Doug onboard is…
Twitter
RT @AF_SBIR_STTR: During a @T_W_Enterprise event, Salvo Technologies demonstrated how their technology could benefit the warfighter by deve…
Twitter
RT @NASA: LIVE NOW: #LaunchAmerica, Take 2. 🎬 Watch as @NASA_Astronauts fly to the @Space_Station from U.S. soil for the first time in nine…
Twitter
#SafetyFirst! @22ARW shows how to perform motorcycle safety. #ReadyAF https://t.co/VEEmq4CkVm
Twitter
Taking care of our Airmen! #ReadyAF #AimHigh https://t.co/6SrkNxXoUv
Twitter
RT @CitizenAirman: The June 2020 issue of Citizen Airman Magazine is online now! - https://t.co/wScm3DZIFq #ReserveReady #ReserveResilient
Twitter
Uniform changes scheduled to become mandatory for the Operational Camouflage Pattern and Two-Piece Flight Duty Unif… https://t.co/oYJ1VYY4KQ
Twitter
RT @1stAF: .@1stAF's aligned @CivilAirPatrol #MichiganWing transport #COVID19 test kits. #CAP, is the official #auxiliary of the @usairforc
Twitter
.@Whiteman_AFB maintenance group, the backbone of the B-2 Spirit, gets the mission done - no matter the time, or th… https://t.co/lUZqaz7XoE
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,229,016
Follow Us