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Pakistan adopts Chinese GPS satellite system


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This file photo shows a GPS satellite orbiting the Earth. - File Photo
This file photo shows a GPS satellite orbiting the Earth. - File Photo

BEIJING: Pakistan is set to become the fifth Asian country to use China's domestic satellite navigation system which was launched as a rival to the US global positioning system, a report said Saturday.

The Beidou, or Compass, system started providing services to civilians in the region in December and is expected to provide global coverage by 2020. It also has military applications.

Thailand, China, Laos and Brunei already use the Chinese system, which currently consists of 16 operational satellites, with 30 more due to join the system, according to English-language China Daily.

Huang Lei, international business director of BDStar Navigation, which promotes Beidou, told the newspaper the company would build a network of stations in Pakistan to enhance the location accuracy of Beidou.

He said building the network would cost tens of millions of dollars.

American website reported early May that Pakistani military experts were in favour of using the Chinese system, even though the availability of the signal could not be guaranteed in case of conflict.

But according to one of them, Pakistan cannot place its trust in the United States.

“Pakistan's armed forces cannot rely on US GPS because of its questionable availability during a conflict that has overtones of nuclear escalation,” former Pakistan Air Force pilot Kaiser Tufail told the site.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang travels next week to Pakistan, a long time ally, after a visit to India.

Comments (11) Closed

sal May 18, 2013 03:28pm

made in china is doubtful

Khanm May 18, 2013 04:07pm

do we have the roads maps.... i dont see any road worthy of being roads... we have no infra structure..... wonder how this gps will work...

True Pakistani May 18, 2013 04:25pm

Its great.. Hope this will bring more and more business in Pakistan. Insha Allah Pakistan's economy will prosper and common people will be benefited from it.

Salim Akbani May 18, 2013 06:26pm

A wise decision on the part of Pakistan. during crunch times, the Chinese have proven to be far more reliable partners than the US, especially when security is involved.

Javs323 May 18, 2013 08:00pm

Will this GPS system be available for civilian use?

falcon May 18, 2013 10:47pm

china will drive USA crazy, if they keep bringing competition and at the same time not fall under the "bad guy" catogary, which USA want to it chnia under.

Babu Khan May 19, 2013 04:39am

India is also making its GPS system and will be up and running soon. India will offer it to Pakistan free as a trust building measure.

nandkishor May 20, 2013 02:02am

chinese system or products are not trustworthy, gps system from japan are best in the world..

Qudsi May 20, 2013 09:48am

This is great. All of our missile technology is dependent on American Navigational System (GPS) that is capable of creating intentional error so it may not work for us in case of any conflict. So Pakistan should not rely on USA as america is not our stratigic ally. Pakistan need to focus more about space technology.

ashok May 20, 2013 01:00pm

@Babu Khan: Now at least Pakistan should not view India with suspicion

Shubs May 18, 2013 09:51am
:-) All the best!