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Downed Russian fighter jets are being found with basic GPS 'taped to the dashboards,' UK defense minister says

Business Insider logo Business Insider 5/10/2022 wbostock@businessinsider.com (Bill Bostock)
A crashed Russian Sukhoi Su-34 aircraft in Chernihiv, Ukraine, in April. REUTERS/Serhii Nuzhnenko © REUTERS/Serhii Nuzhnenko A crashed Russian Sukhoi Su-34 aircraft in Chernihiv, Ukraine, in April. REUTERS/Serhii Nuzhnenko
  • Russia is taping basic GPS devices to its fighter jets' dashboards, the UK's defense minister said.
  • Ben Wallace said this was due to "the poor quality" of Russia's own navigation systems.
  • Russia's military hardware, much of which appears outdated, is being tested as the invasion drags on.

Wrecked Russian fighter jets are being found with rudimentary GPS receivers "taped to the dashboards" in Ukraine because their inbuilt navigation systems are so bad, the UK's defense secretary, Ben Wallace, said.

Speaking at the National Army Museum in London Monday, Wallace commemorated those who died in World War II and called Russia's invasion of Ukraine "senseless and self-defeating."

He added that there was evidence suggesting Russian military hardware was being pushed to breaking point by the invasion of Ukraine.

"'GPS' receivers have been found taped to the dashboards of downed Russian Su-34s so the pilots knew where they were, due to the poor quality of their own systems," he said.


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"The result is that whilst Russia have large amounts of artillery and armor that they like parading, they are unable to leverage them for combined arms maneuver and just resort to mass indiscriminate barrages," he added.

The Su-34 was first manufactured in the Soviet Union in the early 1990s but is still one of Russia's leading fighter jets.

Ukraine has shared abundant evidence of what it says are Russia's attempts to patch over issues with old military equipment and bypass equipment shortages.

Last month, Ukrainian troops paraded what they said was a Russian drone that had been covered in duct tape and fitted with a generic plastic bottle top for a fuel cap. In March, Ukrainian troops found what appeared to be Russian army bandages dating to 1978 discarded on a battlefield.

In his Monday speech, Wallace said Russian vehicles "are frequently found with 1980s paper maps of Ukraine in them" and that soldiers were using "pine logs as makeshift protection on logistical trucks" and attaching "overhead 'cope cages' to their tanks."

Russia held its annual Victory Day military parade in Moscow on Monday but canceled the air force flyby over what it said was bad weather. 

During his speech, Russian President Vladimir Putin didn't declare all-out war on Ukraine as Western officials, including Wallace, had expected. He instead praised Russian troops fighting in the eastern Donbas region of Ukraine and slammed NATO and the US.

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