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China’s shipborne GPS jamming is only the tip of the iceberg.

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The U.S. response to China’s militarization of the South China Sea has been inadequate, and Beijing’s recent jamming of civilian GPS signals in the region is only the tip of the iceberg. The Chinese Communist Party is trying to develop electronic attack (EA) capabilities designed to destroy or disrupt sensors, communications and data links, weapons guidance and navigation systems, radars, command and control systems, space surveillance and targeting systems, command centers, and data links used by American forces. As a result of this challenge to military superiority in Asia, we must reexamine our security programs in order to effectively deter aggression in the Indo-Pacific region.

U.S. military forces are confronted with an increasingly lethal and aggressive Chinese military that is rapidly closing the technological gap with the United States.

The PLA is fielding an array of new air and sea platforms that are becoming increasingly lethal, highly mobile, and capable of carrying out a range of missions. The Chinese navy has added numerous new classes of ships including destroyers, frigates, corvettes, amphibious ships and submarines. The PLA’s Air Force has also updated its fighter inventory with modernized J-10Cs and Su-30MKKs. At the same time it continues to develop advanced fighters such as its fifth generation J-20 aircraft (though this program remains behind schedule). China’s space capabilities have grown significantly in recent years with new satellites being launched every few months to support military operations across China’s three services – air force; army; navy – as well as civilian applications such as navigation/positioning for commercial shipping activities near shorelines where GPS signals may not be available due to natural obstructions like mountains or other tall buildings blocking radio transmissions from orbiting satellites

China is developing and fielding capabilities to defeat American power projection into the region, including a full-spectrum arsenal of anti-access area denial (A2/AD) capabilities.

The development of these A2/AD capabilities is being driven by China’s belief that it has little or no chance of defeating U.S. forces in a conflict unless those forces are denied access to their objectives through the use of integrated air defense networks, long-range precision strike systems, advanced cyberattacks and electromagnetic warfare (EW) weapons such as GPS jammers, radar jammers and anti-jamming devices.

Beijing seeks to eliminate U.S. military freedom of movement and action in the western Pacific during a crisis or conflict, including electronic attack (EA) capabilities designed to destroy or disrupt sensors, communications and data links, weapons guidance and navigation systems, radars, command and control systems, space surveillance and targeting systems, command centers, and data links.

This includes land-based ballistic and cruise missiles, sea mines, advanced air defenses, cyber attacks against command systems as well as commercial satellites used for navigation and communications.

China’s shipborne GPS jamming is only the tip of the iceberg. Beijing seeks to eliminate U.S. military freedom of movement and action in the western Pacific during a crisis or conflict, including electronic attack (EA) capabilities designed to destroy or disrupt sensors, communications and data links, weapons guidance and navigation systems, radars, command and control systems, space surveillance and targeting systems…

Using these EA capabilities, the PLA could neutralize an adversary’s ability to conduct free and unfettered military operations within a given theater of operations, such as Taiwan or the South China Sea. This would be done by denying access to space-based navigation information via GPS jamming or spoofing, thus prohibiting them from conducting accurate navigation. The PLA could also use its EA systems against air defense networks by attacking their communications links and radars with cyber attacks while simultaneously jamming their radar signals with electromagnetic pulses (EMP).