Ukraine has reached agreement with the EU to join the bloc’s US$3.1 billion satellite radio navigation program, Galileo, launched by the 25 member states in association with the European Space Agency, ISN reported.

The agreement is expected to boost industrial cooperation between Ukraine and other participating countries. It details cooperation on satellite navigation in a wide range of sectors, including science and technology, industrial manufacturing, service and market development, standardization, frequency, and certification.
The Ukrainian space industry is among the world’s leader in design and production of launchers and Global Navigation Satellite System GNSS components.

Ukraine is the third non-EU country to join Galileo, after Israel and China.

The EU’s Galileo program - which will have a web of 30 satellites and will reduce European reliance on the US Global Positioning System (GPS) - will be fully operational in 2008 at the latest, with signal transmissions beginning as early as this year.

The European consortium INavSat, which is building Galileo, is made up of German, French, British, Italian, and Spanish companies, as well as contractors from some smaller European countries. The consortium’s main companies include European space giant EADS, France’s Thales, and Britain’s Inmarsat.
Galileo is a civilian application that will remain under civilian control, but will be used to enhance the EU’s military capabilities and to enhance European independence in the commercial and scientific spheres.

Galileo will serve transport networks, such as airlines and rail and shipping companies, as well as search and rescue teams and other emergency services.
The US and Russian systems are militarily financed and controlled.

The EU says Galileo will complement Washington’s GPS and Moscow’s GLONASS system.


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