Russia, China to Combine Efforts in Satellite Battle With US?

Russia and China are likely to sign a cooperation pact regarding ground operation stations for Russia’s GLONASS satellite and China’s Beidou satellite, reports Huanqiu, the website of China’s nationalistic tabloid Global Times, citing Sergei Savelyev, deputy head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos.

Savelyev said that Russia expects an agreement with China, which will allow the countries to build three ground operational stations in each other’s territory, with the number potentially increasing in the future.

At the St Petersburg International Economic Forum 2014 held in late May, Savelyev also said that Russia is preparing to discuss construction of GLONASS ground operation stations with both China and India and expects to reach an agreement of equal number construction by the end of the year.

The Moscow-based Voice of Russia reported that the number may be more than three, as China initially proposed setting up about a dozen Beidou stations in Russia from the Urals to the Far East, and to host a similar number of GLONASS stations.

A Russian researcher told Huanqui that China and Russia are highly likely to cooperate in a joint satellite navigation system, given that they share a common competitor — the US Global Positioning System (GPS). The wise choice would be for Beijing and Moscow to install each other’s devices on the counterparts satellites, the researcher said.

During the 2nd Technoprom International Forum held in Novosibirsk in Russia on June 5-6, Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin said that cooperation between Russia and China in the field will not be limited to ground operational stations, but will also include reception devices and related infrastructure. "Our system is more suitable for northern, polar latitudes. The Chinese system is more southern. Their complementary natures would result in a biggest and most powerful competitor to any navigation system," he said.

Meanwhile, Sergei Ivanov, chief of staff of the Presidential Administration of Russia, said that in addition to ground operational stations in China, Russia plans to construct 50 GLONASS ground operation stations with 36 countries. He said that negotiations with Nicaragua, Vietnam, Iran and Indonesia are underway, while agreements with Cuba and Spain have already been reached.

Roscosmos also proposed to construct six ground operational stations in the US, but the plan was turned down due to national security concerns, while the US has already set up 11 GPS stations on Russian soil.

However, Russia announced in May that it would suspend the operation of all 11 GPS stations from June 1 due to poor progress in Russia-US talks over the construction of Russian ground stations in the US. The GPS ground operational stations will be permanently shut on September 1 if the two countries fail to reach a consensus by then, according to Huanqiu.

Source: Want China Times