UK Says Jet Carrying Defense Minister Hit by Electronic Attack Near Russia

A British Royal Air Force plane carrying the UK defense minister had its signal jammed as it flew near Russian territory this week, a government spokesman confirmed on Thursday.

The electronic attack happened on Wednesday evening as Grant Shapps flew back on an RAF jet from Poland where he had watched a NATO exercise, the Times newspaper reported.

A UK government spokesman said the plane “temporarily experienced GPS jamming when they flew close to Kaliningrad” on the Baltic Sea, some 1,200 kilometers (some 750 miles) west of Moscow.

“It didn’t threaten the safety of the aircraft and it is not unusual for aircraft to experience GPS jamming near Kaliningrad, which is of course Russian territory,” the spokesman added.

UK Defense Minister Grant Shapps
UK Defense Minister Grant Shapps was travelling with his staff and several journalists when the electronic attack near a Russian territory happened. Photo: UK MoD

The Times, who had journalists on the plane, said the GPS signal was interfered with for about 30 minutes.

Mobile phones could no longer connect to the internet and the aircraft was forced to use alternative methods to determine its location, the daily added.

Shapps had earlier watched hundreds of troops taking part in the Steadfast Defender exercise – the largest drills staged by the US-led military alliance since the Cold War.

The UK is one of Ukraine’s strongest backers in its two-year-old fight against Russia’s full-scale invasion of its neighbor in February 2022.

London has committed more than 7 billion pound ($8.9 billion) of military support to Ukraine and has trained tens of thousands of Ukrainian troops.

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