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Russian space agency to form three space holdings by 2015

RIA Novosti

22/08/2007 14:41 ZHUKOVSKY (Moscow Region), August 22 (RIA Novosti) - Russian space companies will be integrated into 10-12 groups, which will then be organized into three to four holdings, the head of the Russian space agency said Wednesday.

"By 2010, we plan to create 10-12 integrated structures, and by 2015, three to four space holdings," Anatoly Perminov said.

He also said the Federal Space Agency intends to boost the effectiveness of satellite communication systems, adding that six Glonass satellites will be launched before the end of the year, bringing their total number to 18 and covering all of Russian territory.

Russia is developing a global satellite navigation system, Glonass, a Russian version of the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS), which is designed for both military and civilian use, and allows users to identify their positions in real time.

A total of 9.88 billion rubles ($379.7 million) have been allocated for Glonass from the federal budget in 2007, and 4.72 billion ($181.4 million) in 2006. The system is to become fully operational by 2008.

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