GPS Jamming in NW Highlands

Hillwalkers, climbers and sailors are warned that a major bi-annual multinational military exercise which next takes place in October will mean ten days of disruption to GPS systems in northwest Scotland.

NATO assault on poor old Garbh-eilean (Cape Wrath area)., 80 kb
NATO assault on poor old Garbh-eilean (Cape Wrath area).
© streapadair

Joint Warrior 122, which takes place from 1 - 11 October 2012, is a programme of exercises conducted by land forces, warships, submarines and aircraft across the UK with the maritime element focussed in the offshore and coastal waters to the north east, north and north west of Scotland.

Much of the activity occurs well offshore, however there may still be an impact on civilian GPS users in the hills or on inshore waters.

Denial of GPS services through the jamming of the GPS signal is an essential part of preparation for military operations, explain the MoD, a fact that Joint Warrior training has to reflect.

The jamming equipment is located at Loch Ewe and Faraid Head, and during this ten-day period anywhere with a line of sight to either of these two locations may be affected. This includes a fair bit of high ground on the northwest seaboard.

During jamming GPS receivers and any related equipment may suffer intermittent/total failure, or give incorrect position info. So it's back to good old fashioned map and compass then [no loss - Ed.].

Also worth bearing in mind is that during Joint Warrior the Cape Wrath Range, including Garvie Island (An Garbh-eilean), will be active with various combinations of air bombardment, naval gunfire support and helicopter operations - all of which are best seen from a big distance. For details of this activity and info on when the Range road will be open for public access call the Cape Wrath Information Line - FREEPHONE 0800 833300 or 01862 892185

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