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Russia ‘jamming signals’ at RAF Cyprus base

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Russia ‘jamming signals’ at RAF Cyprus base

Old 19th Mar 2021, 14:22
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Russia ‘jamming signals’ at RAF Cyprus base

Not sure if this has been mentioned elsewhere. Article in The Times today.
Russia is understood to have repeatedly tried to jam signals in an act of electronic warfare against RAF aircraft taking off from Cyprus.

Military intelligence sources said a “hostile state” had regularly attempted to interfere with satellite communications of the A400M transport aircraft leaving RAF Akrotiri while troops were on board.

The attacks could have prevented the pilot from knowing where the aircraft was or the direction it was flying in and potentially resulted in casualties. None of the attempts was successful. The only two hostile states close enough to try to jam the signals were Syria and Russia, with Russia understood to be the only country capable of doing so.


A military intelligence source told The Times: “Russia has been trying to jam planes taking off, which is all part of its sub-threshold activity.” Sub-threshold activity is where armed conflict is avoided but there is confrontation.

The source added: “This is an example of another state being hostile and reckless for no apparent reason. These are transport aircraft bringing in spare parts. It’s not like they are fighter jets.”

The global positioning system is a radio-navigation system that consists of satellites in orbit and a network of ground stations used for monitoring.

On Monday the “defence command” paper is due to be published, setting out cuts and investments to the military. This will include a plan for the military to operate more inside the “grey zone” between peace and war and attach a “cost” to such nefarious activity by adversaries. A defence source said: “This is about the resetting of the overt world of peace and war and moving to a more fluid world where our adversaries are.”

It is widely expected that all 14 C-130J Hercules aircraft, favoured by the SAS, will be grounded and the larger Airbus A400M will be used to convey troops.

Lieutenant-General Jim Hockenhull, chief of defence intelligence, said: “The future battlefield will not be defined by lines on maps. We will likely be confronted by state and non-state actors who will employ brinkmanship, threshold warfare, terrorism, proxies, coercion and economic warfare.” He said that the military would adapt its approach and “target our most vulnerable areas”.


There are concerns that Russia is exploring ways to disrupt other satellite communications, as well as building up anti-satellite space weapons. In July, the UK and US accused Russia of testing a weapon-like projectile in space that could be used to target satellites.

A defence source said: “Our space assets can be held at risk due to the development of anti-satellite weapons. If you want to disrupt financial transactions you just need to wipe out a satellite.”

Mercenary army growing
Russia has a global army of mercenaries that is “growing in influence” in poorer states, military chiefs believe (Larisa Brown writes). Intelligence has identified 12 groups that are secretly working for Moscow abroad. The shadowy Wagner group is one trying to further Russia’s aims.

Private contractors give the Kremlin a degree of deniability and make it difficult for the UK to respond to.

Britain believes that Russia has given Wagner fighter jets, transport planes and air defence missiles. A defence source said: “Russia can basically do what it likes without being held to account.”

The Russian government denies any involvement in Wagner.
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Old 19th Mar 2021, 16:47
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Originally Posted by Lyneham Lad View Post
Not sure if this has been mentioned elsewhere. Article in The Times today.
"Private contractors give the Kremlin a degree of deniability and make it difficult for the UK to respond to. Britain believes that Russia has given Wagner fighter jets, transport planes and air defence missiles. A defence source said: “Russia can basically do what it likes without being held to account". The Russian government denies any involvement in Wagner." (My bold)

Kremlin SOP! To be fair, others have done the same in the past - the Contras in Nicaragua anyone? With Moscow, this has also been going on for decades - well back into the good old Soviet days. What a world we live in!
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Old 19th Mar 2021, 16:55
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Russia was officially tagged as hostile by Britain and the US President has formally called the Russian President 'a killer'.
Surely that gives Russia all the freedom it might want to be as unhelpful as it could be.
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Old 19th Mar 2021, 17:28
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Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
Russia was officially tagged as hostile by Britain and the US President has formally called the Russian President 'a killer'.
Surely that gives Russia all the freedom it might want to be as unhelpful as it could be.
Putin sent his goons to our country to commit murder using nerve gas. I think 'hostile' is quite a mild description.
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Old 19th Mar 2021, 18:07
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Originally Posted by Hot 'n' High View Post
"Private contractors give the Kremlin a degree of deniability and make it difficult for the UK to respond to. ..Kremlin SOP! To be fair, others have done the same in the past - the Contras in Nicaragua anyone? With Moscow, this has also been going on for decades - well back into the good old Soviet days. What a world we live in!
If you haven't heard of Erik Prince and Blackwater, you might be unaware that the US leads the field in unaccountable, untraceable private armies working for the Government.

P.S. So the Russians doing what they have been doing since the Cold War started - real news flash stuff. Somebody should be giving them an Industry award for providing field test conditions for COMSEC and Tempest evaluation.
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Old 19th Mar 2021, 19:12
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... and career development opportunities for WSOs who can use a sextant?

Although an early embracer of IT both at work and at home in the late 80s, the almost total dependence on hi-tech I find disconcerting. Almost every week I now find myself under some for of pressure to buy a 5G smartphone that I really don’t need ... and yet it’s becoming almost SOP for Travel (remember that?), Banking and Health/C-19 purposes.
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Old 19th Mar 2021, 20:23
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It has been going on for several years at this stage. Not a big navigation issue, there is enough conventional navaid coverage to maintain accurate navigation certainly to RNP1.

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Old 19th Mar 2021, 20:43
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Originally Posted by Video Mixdown View Post
Putin sent his goons to our country to commit murder using a persistent nerve agent - aka a WMD. I think 'hostile' is quite a mild description.
Fixed. Free of charge. Whether the consequence is sufficient to deter a repeat, remains to be seen.
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Old 19th Mar 2021, 21:17
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Given that the purported target has survived, with him and his daughter, who flew in from Russia, now held incommunicado by HMG, I frankly don't believe a word of the 'official' story.
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Old 19th Mar 2021, 21:27
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Originally Posted by speedrestriction View Post
It has been going on for several years at this stage. Not a big navigation issue, there is enough conventional navaid coverage to maintain accurate navigation certainly to RNP1.
Navaids in Northern Cyprus (the Turkish bit) are notoriously unreliable. Flying an aircraft with only VOR -DME updating to the IRS into Paphos a number of years ago resulted in a small map shift 1-2nm as the kit was picking up the poor navaids in the North such as Ercan. They can be deselected through the FMS before entering the area if you are aware of the problem.
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Old 19th Mar 2021, 21:43
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Comments under the article in the Telegraph are amusing, alarming, informative, ignorant and conspiratorial in equal measure!
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Old 19th Mar 2021, 22:22
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Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
Given that the purported target has survived, with him and his daughter, who flew in from Russia, now held incommunicado by HMG, I frankly don't believe a word of the 'official' story.
​​​​​​Your personal delusions are your problem.
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Old 19th Mar 2021, 23:26
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Originally Posted by Video Mixdown View Post
​​​​​​Your personal delusions are your problem.
Delusions are hard to shake when they are facts.
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Old 20th Mar 2021, 00:08
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Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
Given that the purported target has survived, with him and his daughter, who flew in from Russia, now held incommunicado by HMG, I frankly don't believe a word of the 'official' story.
What do you believe?

There were several news articles about 18 months ago that they had been given new identities and had relocated overseas from the UK.

Of course you may prefer to believe the Scoop article that says they were executed by the British.
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Old 20th Mar 2021, 00:34
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Etudient,
"Given that the purported target has survived, with him and his daughter, who flew in from Russia, now held incommunicado by HMG, I frankly don't believe a word of the 'official' story."
You have no idea what the 'purported target' was! You have no idea what the ROE are. You have no idea what the concrete military advantage of the strike was. You have no idea of the level of military or political clearance of the strike was. You have no idea of the clearance process of hitting the target is. In fact, you have no idea at all, just like the rest of us not involved with the strike. Whether you believe the 'official story' is irrelevant. I've been retired from the targeting world for 10 years now and would never presume to know what is happening, but your inputs reveal a conspiracy theorist at work.
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Old 20th Mar 2021, 07:57
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cynicalint
Ahh but ... I bet the person knows the height of the spire on Salisbury Cathedral
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Old 20th Mar 2021, 09:00
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Etudiant. Do you also disbelieve the Bellingcat analysis?

https://www.bellingcat.com/resources...ings-suspects/
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Old 20th Mar 2021, 09:26
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Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
Given that the purported target has survived, with him and his daughter, who flew in from Russia, now held incommunicado by HMG, I frankly don't believe a word of the 'official' story.
A voice in the wilderness.
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Old 20th Mar 2021, 10:50
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Russia may of course be aware of aspects of the Salisbury Poisoning it wouldn’t want publicised.

In Sept 2018 Russia finally ‘gave the finger’ to the international community regarding the poisoning, in a number of political speeches and press releases. Strangely, the following month (October 2018) Russia suffered a strange accident when a floating dock sank, causing a crane to fall on the flight deck of their one and only Carrier, causing severe damage!

So either either karma works really, really well, or is is possible that the SBS were out and about during October that year? Obviously we will never know, but the use of a nerve agent against the population of another sovereign nation surely called for some level of active response.
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Old 20th Mar 2021, 11:30
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Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
Russia was officially tagged as hostile by Britain and the US President has formally called the Russian President 'a killer'.
Surely that gives Russia all the freedom it might want to be as unhelpful as it could be.
Russia? An excuse to be unhelpful? Think you're getting your "chickens" and "eggs" the wrong way round! I suspect that the closest we ever came to the idea of Russia being helpful (in the past 100 years or more) was with Gorbachev. History tells us what happened there. WW II also saw "co-operation" ... but more as a means to an end for Stalin in his quest to eject the Germans from Russia.

Since Gorby & Yeltsin, Russia has stepped back, not into the old Soviet ways - but into more of a "sovereign democracy" which is slightly less benign than it sounds. Interestingly, both Stalin and Putin had/have strong Russian nationalism as a core concept - and nothing wrong with that. Pride in the Russian nation and people etc. However, they both used/use peculiar ways of holding on to power - it is those "methodologies" which have caused so much controversy.

Of course Putin is mad with Biden as Biden "says it as he sees it". It was quite useful to Putin to have Trump in the Whitehouse. Given the way the Trump "empire" has been financed Trump was always going to be muted in any criticism of Putin - a classic case of "entrapment" which, ironically, was more by accident than design! Trump sort of just fell into it decades ago as his business empire was struggling financially and he was grasping at straws just to survive!!!

So, belatedly, returning to the Thread, this jamming is just one way of expressing "Russian nationalism" - of demonstrating that Russia is "great again". I hardly think the jamming and Putin's feelings towards Biden are related - the former would have happened anyway. Who knows what Putin will do re Biden. This could be a real "popcorn" moment which, hopefully, will not see anything daft being perpetrated. The odds are not good I suspect......
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