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Space

Russia in talks with other countries on joint Glonass use

RIA Novosti

05/12/2006 18:31 MOSCOW, December 5 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is negotiating with other countries on the possible joint use of Russia's global positioning satellite system Glonass, the head of the Russian Space Agency said Tuesday.

Glonass, a Russian version of the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS), is designed for both military and civilian purposes, and allows users to identify their positions in real time. It can also be used in geological prospecting.

"We are in active talks with India, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and other countries on the joint use of the Glonass space system," Anatoly Perminov said.

"As far as other countries are concerned, we are primarily in talks with the United States and the European Space Agency to prepare agreements on the use of Glonass jointly with GPS and Galileo [satellite navigation systems]," Perimov said.

He said Glonass has been in an intensified stage of development since the president urged for active work on the system.

"The country's leadership is paying particular attention to the development of the system," Perminov said. "The Russian president personally set the task of not only actively developing it [the system], but also putting it into operation as soon as possible."

Last December President Vladimir Putin told the government that he wanted Glonass ready by 2008, as had been originally planned.

"We hope that by late 2007 or early 2008 we will have 18 satellites in orbit, and by the end of 2009 a full orbital group of 24 satellites," Perminov said.

In November Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said Russia will lift all precision restrictions, from the start of 2007, in the use of Glonass to enable accurate and unlimited commercial use of the military-controlled global positioning system. Current restrictions limit the accuracy for civilian users of Glonass to 30 meters.



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