Feb 7, 2008

GLONASS Sputters, Again

Remember GLONASS, Russia's answer to GPS? In 1994, the system worked for about five minutes, right before the satellites fizzled. Hell, it happens. So now the Kremlin is plowing petro dollars into reviving GLONASS....with little success.

Jamestown reports, "During a televised Cabinet meeting [in December 2007], Putin asked Ivanov when his pet Labrador, Koni, would get a working GLONASS positioner “'so that she will not run away.'” Ivanov confidently projected mid-2008.

Opps. Ivanov now says 1) GLONASS is inaccurate 2) does not cover all of Russia all of the time 3) the satellites are unreliable 4) Russian companies aren't even making devices for the GLONASS system 5) everyone at the Federal Space Agency should be fired.

Ego plays a role here. But so does Russian's desire to use its own GPS to target precision-guided weapons, just like the Americans. Why not use the US GPS system? Partnership, cooperation, and all that? Russia's playbook still intends to use said cruise missiles against NATO and US targets.

Here Koni, Koni... Where is that damn dog?

No comments: