China is one step closer to launching BeiDou, the country’s own satellite navigation system that rivals the US-developed GPS.
By the end of this year, China will complete all medium Earth orbit launches of the BeiDou-3 system, according to BeiDou's official website
. BeiDou-3 is the last stage of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, and it will eventually consist of 35 satellites
in three orbits: Medium Earth orbit, inclined geosynchronous orbit and geostationary orbit. The BeiDou-3 global network will be completed next year, the report says, completing its global rollout.
China aims for the People’s Liberation Army to adopt the independently developed and operated BeiDou, completely replacing GPS. China is also promoting its use
to other countries participating in its Belt and Road Initiative
. It hopes the system will “meet the needs of the country’s national security as well as economic and social development,” according to a 2016 government white paper
. Most new smartphones
from Chinese brands already support BeiDou.
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