May 29, 2008 08:07
South Korean intelligence authorities have reportedly learned that North Korea has developed a device capable of jamming the GPS signals used by state-of-the-art guided missiles and precision bombs, and has been attempting to export the device to Middle East countries including Iran and Syria.
A South Korean government source on Wednesday said they are keeping a close eye on the communist country as they understand that North Korea has developed a GPS jammer by copying a Russian device, and has been looking to export it to the Middle East.
The source added that North Korea has been promoting the GPS jammer to several Middle Eastern countries by offering a better price than the Russian device.
When the Iraq War began in 2003, the Iraqi Army caused a stir by using a Russian-made GPS jamming system to disrupt the U.S. military's guided weapons systems. South Korean military authorities are racking their brains to work out a counter solution, worried that the device could cause similar disruptions for the South and its allies if war broke out.
One such weapon that could be affected is the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), a GPS-based system that guides bombs used by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The South Korean Army will have purchased 900 of them by 2012.
Long-range air-to-ground cruise missiles, including Tomahawk cruise missiles, are also GPS-guided. The strength of GPS-based weapons systems is their accuracy in hitting targets despite bad weather or challenging terrain. Their weakness is that they can be jammed easily, by even a weak signal.
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