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Russia's Glonass satellite system to be fully operational in 2010

RIA Novosti

07/06/2008 16:10 MOSCOW, June 7 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Glonass satellite system is expected to become fully operational in 2010, if it receives sufficient financing, the head of the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) said on Saturday.

Glonass (Global Navigation Satellite System) is the Russian equivalent 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.

"Until 2005, the system's financing was 43% of required levels. Normal financing at acceptable levels only began after 2005. I am confident that with sufficient financing, the Glonass system will start working in full in 2010," Anatoly Perminov said.

According to the Central Research Institute for Machine-Building, the Glonass system currently consists of 16 satellites, with 13 satellites operating in accordance with the designation function and 3 satellites undergoing maintenance.

It was earlier reported that the Glonass system should include 18 satellites for continued navigation services covering the entire territory of the Russian Federation and 24 satellites to provide services worldwide.

A total of 9.9 billion rubles ($418.25 million) was allocated for Glonass from the federal budget in 2007, and 4.7 billion rubles ($200 million) in 2006.

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