By Sumit Kumar Singh
Pakistan is all set to use Chinese homegrown navigation system BeiDou for both military and civil purpose, ending their dependence on the US-based Global Positioning System (GPS), sources in Indian security establishments stated.
It is part of Pakistan and China’s defence and strategic cooperation. Sources said that China wants to end the US-based GPS hegemony and push for its own developed navigation system first in the Asian region.
Chinese Satellite Navigation Office (CSNO) has agreed to establish BeiDou enabled Continuously Operating Radar Station (CORS) network in Pakistan.
It will help Pakistan in getting precise geo-spatial application particularly in the field of surveying and mapping, construction and scientific studies.
China has established a monitoring station at its Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) for monitoring and assessing the BeiDou Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). The system was completed on August 3.
“China announced the completion of its navigation system project on August 3,” said a source adding that China is now looking at expanding the network first in the Asia region.
An agreement on the cooperation in the field of satellite navigation between CSNO and SUPARCO was signed in May 2013.
The final launch of the system was done on June 23 after finally ending a project that went on for two decades. China began to develop the system in the 1990s and the first satellite was launched in 2000 kick starting the journey.
As Pakistan is buying Chinese defence equipment, it would be shifting to and be fully integrated into BeiDou.
Gradually, Pakistan Armed Forces will completely switch to the BeiDou navigation system for all its critical military platforms, source said.
Pakistan is on a defence equipment buying spree from China to deploy it along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir region. Be it armour, air defence, artillery, UAVs, ships, submarines or fighter aircraft, Pakistan is buying it all from China.
(Sumit Kumar Singh can be reached at email@example.com)