Czechs sign deal to host EU's satellite navigation

Jan 27, 2012

(AP) -- The Czech government has signed a deal for Prague to host the headquarters of an ambitious satellite navigation system that is meant to become the main rival to the U.S. Global Positioning System.

The deal was signed Friday in Prague by Czech Transport Minister Pavel Dobes and Carlo des Dorides, executive director of the European GNSS Agency.

The EU wants to dominate the future with a system known as that is more precise and more reliable than GPS, while controlled by civil authorities.

It foresees applications ranging from precision seeding on farmland to pinpoint positioning for search-and-rescue missions. On top of that, the EU hopes it will reap a financial windfall.

The system with a network of 30 satellites is expected to become operational in 2014.

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