Yesterday, we linked to this AP story that said the Air Force found a software glitch during its upgrade of the ground control stations for a new fleet of GPS satellites that rendered about 10,000 GPS receivers inoperable. The Air Force said it has begun distributing a permanent software fix.
The story quoted Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center spokesman Joe Davidson who said: “We are extremely confident in the safety and security of the GPS system from enemy attack… Since GPS’ inception, there has never been a breach of GPS.”
Yet, earlier this year, Colin Clark at companion site DOD Buzz, reported on public comments by Air Force chief Gen. Norton Schwartz, where he said “GPS signals are particularly vulnerable in time of war since enemies know of the reliance U.S. forces place on its highly accurate signal.” Schwartz said the military must find alternatives to GPS when operating in denied environments because of the system’s vulnerabilities.
“Schwartz’s call is driven by serious threats to GPS, according to officials familiar with the issue who would not discuss current threats in detail but confirmed that GPS has been jammed or interfered with recently,” Colin wrote.
(h/t: Robert Charette)
– Greg Grant