China tried to jam U.S. high-altitude UAV (Global Hawk) in South China Sea

China tried to jam U.S. high-altitude UAV (Global Hawk) in South China Sea
RQ-4 Global Hawk. (Image: U.S. Air Force, Bobbi Zapka via Wikipedia)

[Ed. – Note: this isn’t garden-variety VHF or HF jamming of a tactical drone, something any ragtag band of terrorists is capable of.  Global Hawk flies at high altitudes and performs synoptic surveillance under theater commander or higher tasking.  Its in-flight communications with the ground station are via satellite.  Although there’s nothing technologically marvelous about this, it’s important to adjust your mind to the reality that the jamming in this case involves one top-flight military power messing with another.  Increasingly, we can expect to see more of this long-dormant dynamic in the coming days.]

China tried to electronically jam U.S. drone flights over the South China Sea in a bid to thwart spying on disputed island military construction, U.S. officials said.

Global Hawk long-range surveillance drones were targeted by the jamming in at least one incident near the disputed Spratly Islands, where China is building military facilities on Fiery Cross Reef.

Disclosure of the jamming came as a U.S. Navy P-8 surveillance flight on Wednesday was challenged eight times by the Chinese military to leave the same area. …

Details of the drone interference are classified. A spokesman for the Hawaii-based Pacific Command and Pacific Air Force declined to comment on the jamming. …

Regarding South China Sea drone flights, Sims said there were no Chinese aerial intercepts against U.S. unmanned aerial vehicles over the disputed waters that China is claiming as its maritime domain. Sims said he cannot confirm jamming or electronic warfare reports, and would not elaborate in an email.

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