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Russia approves USD 10 bn for Glonass

Moscow, Russia: Russia approved a budget of more than RUB 300 billion (USD 10.1 billion) for developing the Glonass satellite navigation system in 2012-2020, Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov announced at a conference.

Speaking at the sixth annual Satellite Navigation Forum in Moscow, Surkov said the government will make every effort to lend support to the satellite system and to develop its capabilities, including commercial ones, Interfax reported.

In February, the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, had reported that the country may spend RUB 346.5 billion (almost USD 12 billion) on its Glonass navigation satellite system in 2012-2020. However, the government has approved a budget of only USD 10.1 billion.

President-elect Vladimir Putin has said he hopes Glonass will ensure “satellite navigation sovereignty” for Russia and help promote the creation of domestic consumer devices.

Russia estimates that the navigation market in Russia was worth RUB 12 billion last year. Surkov said he was scheduled at the forum to meet with the heads of various Russian regions to discuss using space industry innovations to further the country’s economic development.

The final of 24 Glonass navigation satellites was launched in October, completing the global system Russia hopes will rival the United States’ GPS, and enhance the country’s beleaguered space programme. Over the last 10 years, USD 2 billion has been spent fashioning the Glonass system from Cold War technology used to guide Soviet missiles.

Source: The Moscow Times