Russia is negotiating with India, US and some other countries on the joint use of its national global navigational satellite system GLONASS, a top space official on Wednesday said.
GLONASS, the Russian version of the US Global Positioning System (GPS) is designed for both military and civilian purposes and allows users to identify their location in real time. It can also be used in geological prospecting.
"We are in active talks with India, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and some other countries on the joint use of the GLONASS space system," Chief of the Federal Space Agency Anatoly Perminov said in the course of an internet conference.
"As far as other countries are concerned, we are primarily in talks with the United States and the European Space Agency to prepare agreements on the use of GLONASS jointly with GPS and Galileo navigation systems," Perminov said.
He said GLONASS has been in an intensified stage of development since the president urged for active work on the system.
"The country's leadership is paying attention to the development of the system. The president personally has set the task of not only actively developing it, but also putting it into operation as soon as possible," Perminov said.
"We hope that by late 2007 or early 2008 we will have 18 satellites in orbit and by the end of 2009 a full orbital group of 24 satellites," Perminov said.
During President Putin's New Delhi visit in December 2004, India and Russia side an agreement on joint use of GLONASS and its commercialisation.