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

Downed Russian fighter jets are being found with basic GPS 'taped to the dashboards,' UK defense minister says
A crashed Russian Sukhoi Su-34 aircraft seen in Chernihiv, Ukraine, in April.REUTERS/Serhii Nuzhnenko
  • Russia is taping basic GPS systems to the dashboards of Su-34 fighter jets, the UK defense minister said.
  • Ben Wallace said this was due to "the poor quality" of Russia's own navigation systems.

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 defense secretary said.

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

He also said 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.

"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."


The Su-34 was first manufactured during 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 a Russian drone that had been covered in duct tape and fitted with a generic plastic bottle top for a fuel cap. In late March, Ukrainian troops found Russian army bandages dating back to 1978 discarded on a battlefield.

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

Russia held its annual May 9 "Victory Day" military parade in Moscow on Monday, but canceled the air force fly-by due to what it said was bad weather.


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