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11 28 2023

NATO experts participate in Austrian Navigation Warfare trial

Experts from the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency) joined a Navigation Warfare trial hosted by the Austrian Ministry of Defence. The trial allowed participants the unique opportunity to test Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSSs), such as GPS, under realistic jamming conditions.

Used in common technologies such as mobile phones, aviation systems and maritime traffic systems, GNSSs provide a critical service for navigation on the ground, sea and in the air. They also provide essential timing synchronization which allow crucial systems to function without delays. To prevent unwanted interference or jamming, GNSS frequency bands are tightly regulated, making opportunities to test and experiment with intentional GNSS extremely rare.

NATO experts participate in Austrian Navigation Warfare trial

During the Navigation Warfare Trial, the Austrian Ministry of Defence provided participants that opportunity, allowing them to deploy and operate jammers to test intentional interference of terrestrial GNSS receivers and sensors.

As part of the trial, experts from the Agency's Joint Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (JISR) Centre deployed and tested cutting-edge GNSS jamming technologies, including the first field test of the GANDALF 3 system, an Agency-owned prototype. The GANDALF 3 system is a capability designed to detect, localise and characterise GNSSs jammers and spoofers. The project aims to create awareness and increase knowledge on the threat posed by GNSS jamming.

Additionally, Agency experts deployed a remotely operated airborne GNSS jammer in order to validate new concepts and technologies for Countering Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-UAS).

"These unique trial activities are of great value in expanding national and NATO technical expertise, and strengthening relationships with partner nations," said Matt Roper, Chief of the JISR Centre. "They provide opportunities to experiment with new developments in radio software and hardware technologies and are of direct benefit to the NCI Agency's role as a 'smart buyer' in support of various procurement projects".

The NCI Agency has a long history of successfully developing prototypes to explore innovative solutions for both defensive and offensive navigation warfare. Participating in events like this ensures that the Agency can continue to help NATO expand its GNSSs navigation warfare knowledge and support its evolving navigation warfare and C-UAS requirements.