China formally launches BeiDou navigation satellite system to rival America's GPS

For the Chinese military, the BeiDou provides an independent navigation system, especially for its missile launches.

Published: 31st July 2020 10:03 PM  |   Last Updated: 31st July 2020 10:03 PM   |  A+A-

In this Nov. 7, 2018, file photo, a model of Chinese BeiDou Navigation Satellite System is displayed during the 12th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition. (File Photo | AP)

By PTI

BEIJING: China on Friday formally launched full global services of its BeiDou-3 Navigation Satellite System (BDS) to rival the widely-used American GPS and provide independent navigation structure for its increasingly modernising military.

Chinese President Xi Jinping attended a ceremony to mark the launch of full global services of the BeiDou-3 here, official media reported.

The launch marks the completion of China's domestically developed BeiDou network, one of the four global navigation networks alongside the US' GPS (Global Positioning System), Russia's GLONASS and the European Union's Galileo.

India too is building its navigational system called the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), with an operational name of NAVIC.

Some of the countries like Pakistan, closely aligned with China, are using the BDS.

China is also promoting its use in the countries signed-up for its mega Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

For the Chinese military, the BeiDou provides an independent navigation system, especially for its missile launches.

"The main advantage of having your own system is the security of access, in the sense that you are not relying on another country to provide it.

The US could deny users access over certain areas, for example in times of conflict," Alexandra Stickings from the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies said.

"It could also serve as a back-up if GPS were to go down entirely," she added.

The chief designer of the BDS, Yang Changfeng, said BeiDou offers accurate positioning, navigation and timing, as well as short messaging communication.

The services are used in various fields, including transportation, agriculture, fishing, and disaster relief.

It offers an alternative to Russia's GLONASS and the European Union's Galileo system, as well as America's GPS, Yang said.

Named after the Chinese word for the Big Dipper or Plough constellation, China's BeiDou navigation project was launched in the early 1990s.

The system then became operational within China in 2000 and in the Asia-Pacific region in 2012.

With the upgrade of its third-generation satellites, the constellation consisting of 35 satellites is ready to provide global coverage, state-run CGTN TV reported.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp