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Norway has been challenged by what it calls continued “electronic harassment” of critical communications systems and networks by the Russian government. To better protect its military communications against interference and jamming of GPS systems, the Norwegian Armed Forces are exploring the use of new methods and technologies.
Most of the incidents of jamming since 2017 coincided with joint Norway-NATO exercises in the High North. The region is close to the heavily fortified military installations on the Kola Peninsula, which houses Russia’s Northern Fleet and elite Arctic land, air and naval forces.
Intelligence reports from national security agencies link the jamming of GPS signals — most recently during the Trident Juncture joint exercises in the High North with NATO held October to November 2018 — to electronic interference by Russia.
While Moscow denies involvement in jamming critical communications, a Norwegian Intelligence Service report details repeated incidents since 2017 where GPS signals and other secured communications between Norwegian Armed Forces, or NAF, units engaged in exercises were subjected to “blocking measures” from sites located in Russia.
The Norwegian government expressed its disapproval of electronic jamming actions by Russia and is strengthening collaboration with Nordic partner states to improve intelligence sharing regarding the Russian military’s signal-blocking technologies and measures.
Finland also informed Moscow of its own protest over suspected signals jamming of both military and civilian communications systems by the Russian military near its northern border with Russia. The Helsinki government summoned the Russian ambassador to Finland in November 2018 to explain why its civilian and military aircraft were reporting incidents of attempted electronic jamming of systems. All events were recorded by aircraft pilots while flying in areas of northern Finland near the country’s border with Russia, according to defensenews.com.