China: China is taking bold steps to build more accurate and efficient military surveying and mapping systems, all part of a plan to fully modernise the military, according to Yuan Shuyou, Director of the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) surveying and mapping department. Shuyou was addressing a forum in which he said the project is part of the latest Five-Year Plan.
Yuan spoke during a forum that the nation intends to “expand cooperation and enhance personnel training to advance mapping and navigation technology” without providing details. Accurate navigation is considered an important component of a modern military because it is a key tool for commanders, Yuan said.
Yuan’s remarks came soon after China conducted a test flight of its first stealth jet as well as the country’s official launch of its domestic mapping service, Map World.
“China’s military navigation ability in terms of accuracy is much behind their Western counterparts,” Li Daguang, a professor at the National Defense University of the PLA, said.
“Mapping Star,” one of the most advanced navigation system developed by the PLA Information Engineering University, can increase the accuracy of targets to 70 percent and higher, according to China News Service.
According to an official blueprint, China intends to launch 12 satellites by next year, which will enable the Beidou system to cover the Asia Pacific region. By 2020, 35 more satellites would be launched and the system will start providing global navigation services.