China to launch 30 Beidou navigation satellites in next 5 years
Coverage for Belt and Road countries
China plans to launch 30 Beidou navigation satellites during the 13th five-year plan period (2016-2020), capping its three-step strategy to build a global navigation system by 2020.
The first batch of 18 satellites will be launched before 2018 to cover countries along the routes in “the Belt and Road” initiative, said Ran Chengqi, director of the China Satellite Navigation Office, during the China Satellite Navigation Conference, which opened on Wednesday.
After having achieved the first two steps — building a regional functional navigation system by 2012, the accuracy and stability of the Beidou system must be improved, said Ran, adding international cooperation will also help the nascent navigation system.
Aside from announcing satellite navigation cooperation with the United States, China and Russia have agreed to make the Beidou and Glonass satellite navigation systems compatible with each other, said Ran. Read more