US warns on GPS interference in Persian Gulf

The US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) has issued a new warning on GPS interference affecting commercial shipping operating in the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, and Gulf of Oman.

The practice – known as ‘spoofing’ – is a form of communications jamming that can mislead the vessel with inaccurate GPS positioning. This has a number of potential consequences and could result in the vessel unintentionally entering a nation’s waters.

MARAD further warned that there have been reports of spoofed communications received by merchant vessels from “unknown entities falsely claiming to be US or coalition warships.” MARAD advises all vessels operating in this area to review security measures, ensure the vessel’s AIS is transmitting at all times and to monitor VHF channel 16.

According to CNN, the US Central Command which oversees US military operations in the region, issued a statement: “Vessels have reported GPS interference, bridge-to-bridge communications spoofing, and/or other communications jamming with little to no warning.”

The latest MARAD advisory can be read here.