Russia has significantly upgraded its electronic warfare (EW) capabilities, particularly its ability to disrupt GPS navigation over large areas. The ramifications of these upgrades were felt recently in Israeli airspace, as flights to and from Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv were forced to adopt alternative flight paths due to GPS interference linked to Russian activity in Syria. Israeli defense sources have been closely monitoring Russia’s expanding EW capabilities, emphasizing the need for European countries to be aware of this growing threat. The interference caused by GPS denial attacks has prompted Israel to expedite the development of systems designed to safeguard its military assets against such disruptions. Some of these systems are already operational, while others are undergoing rigorous testing.
This is not the first time Russia’s actions in Syria have affected Israel’s airspace. Two years ago, Israel experienced a significant disruption to its civil aviation due to Russian GPS denial systems operating in Syria. These previous incidents have spurred Israel to bolster its resilience against similar future attacks. Moreover, there is growing concern regarding the transfer of these EW and GPS denial capabilities to other regions of interest. Some of the systems tested by Russia in Syria are now reportedly being employed in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Additionally, Russia has been assisting Iran in enhancing its EW capabilities, including GPS denial technology. Israeli defense agencies are closely monitoring this collaboration and its potential implications on regional stability.
Russia’s sharing of lessons learned from operating EW and GPS denial systems in Syria with Iran has heightened tensions in the region. In response, the Israeli Air Force has taken actions targeting Iranian-related objectives to safeguard its national security interests. The situation underscores the evolving landscape of electronic warfare and its geopolitical implications. Israel, along with its international partners, continues to adapt and develop countermeasures to address these emerging threats. As Russia continues to advance its electronic warfare capabilities, vigilance and collaboration among nations will be crucial in maintaining the security and stability of affected regions.