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Glonass to go global in 2009 : Russian Defence Minister

By Staff
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Moscow, May 2 (UNI) Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov today said the lonass (Global Navigation Satellite System) will start operating nationwide in 2007 and become global by the end of 2009.

Mr Ivanov informed President Vladimir Putin at a Cabinet meeting that the ''speeding up of the implementation of the federal programme Glonass has been agreed upon.'' Mr Putin asked the Defence Ministry ''to think in advance in contact with the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade about securing orders for the Glonass system,'' Interfax said.

Meanwhile, the Defence Ministry has expedited preparations for launching a Soyuz-V launch vehicle with a military satellite, Itar-Tass reported quoting officials at the northern cosmodrome.

''The lift-off of the spacecraft, initially planned for mid-May, was re-scheduled for next Wednesday,'' they said.

''The carrier rolled off from the technical complex today at 9.30 hrs. The Soyuz was installed at the 16th launch pad,'' officials added.

Deputy commander of the Russian Space Troops, Oleg Gromov had said earlier that ''testing of space systems of a new generation'' would be a priority task of the Space Troops, starting from 2006.

He added that it was planned to complete test and design work under the project of a photo-reconnaissance satellite so as to blast off later one satellite of this type every year.

The Russian orbital grouping now numbers 94 spacecraft, including over 50 military satellites.

UNI XC SB MSJ RN2017

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