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EU announces winner of Galileo GPS network

Organizers of Europe’s new satellite-based European navigation system Galileo have announced their race to win the 20-year concession, a contract worth an estimated three billion euros (3.97 billion dollars) between Eurely, comprising Alcatel, Finmeccanica and Vinci, and the iNavsat group, made up of Thales, EADS and Inmarsat.

The Galileo system, which should start operations in 2008, will complement the US Global Position System that was originally developed for military targeting and position finding.

The EU says the globe-girdling satellites will enable the development of new services in areas such as transport, the environment, agriculture and fisheries that are eventually expected to cover the running costs of the system, estimated at 220 million euros (290 million dollars).