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$10Bln Budgeted for Glonass to 2020

A 2010 presentation of a Glonass-based system for guiding Russian trains. Sergei Nikolayev

More than 300 billion rubles ($10.1 billion) have been budgeted to the year 2020 for developing the Glonass  satellite navigation system , Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov said at a conference Tuesday.

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.

He said Russia estimates that the navigation market in Russia was worth 12 billion rubles 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' Global Positioning System, or GPS, and enhance the country's beleaguered space program. Over the last 10 years, $2 billion has been spent fashioning the Glonass system from Cold War technology used to guide Soviet missiles.

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.

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