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Russia to finish Glonass satellite system ahead of schedule:Ivanov

Written by: Staff
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Moscow, Apr 6 (UNI) Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov today said the Global Navigation Satellite System (Glonass) for military and civilian use will be completed one year in advance of the planned schedule.

''We should launch the Glonass system over Russia in 2008, and not in 2009,'' Mr Ivanov said at a cabinet meeting chaired by President Vladimir Putin.

''I hope the programme will have been adjusted by late April,'' RIA Novosti quoted him as saying.

Currently, Glonass system has 17 operation satellites in orbit that track whereabouts of consumers on land, at sea and in space.

The number is to be increased to 24.

At present, the system uses satellites of two modifications including Glonass and its updated version Glonass-M. The latter has a longer service life of seven years and is equipped with updated antenna feeder systems and an additional navigation frequency for civilian users.

Glonass-K, the future modification, is an entirely new model based on a non-pressurised platform, standardised to the specifications of the previous models' platform, Express-1000. Its service life is expected to be 10-12 years.

During the visit of Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov to New Delhi last month, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) signed an agreement with Russian Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos) for launching Glonass-M by a variant of Indian Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).

The two sides also signed another agreement for joint development of Glonass-K.

UNI XC AK RAI1958

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