China and Russia have signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing to cooperate in developing navigation satellite systems. The document was signed on Monday by the China Satellite Navigation Office and Russian Federal Space Agency on the sidelines of the on-going China-Russia expo in Harbin, capital of northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province.
Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang said he hopes that the two countries will take this opportunity to establish a working mechanism, make clear the direction of cooperation, select good cooperative programs and create working plans.
Ran Chengqi, director of the China Satellite Navigation Office, said the two countries plan to build monitoring stations in each other’s territory, which will promote the integration of the two satellite navigation systems and improve their performance.
“Our cooperation in the field of satellite navigation never targets a third party,” he said, adding that the integration of multiple satellite navigation systems must be the trend ahead internationally.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said the two systems can complement each other and Russia is also looking forward to cooperating with China in other aerospace fields, such as the exploration of the Moon and Mars.
China’s homegrown Beidou Navigation Satellite System began providing initial positioning, navigation and timing operational services to China and its surrounding areas in December 2011.
The Beidou system is compatible and interoperable with the world’s other major global navigation satellite systems, including Russia’s Global Navigation Satellite System, the U.S. GPS system and the EU’s Galileo Positioning System.