BEIJING (AP) — China has added two satellites to its homegrown global navigation and positioning network that seeks to reduce reliance on the U.S.-based Global Positioning System.
State media said Monday that the pair of Beidou-3 satellites were launched aboard a single Long March-3B rocket from the Xichang launch center in the southwestern province of Sichuan on Sunday night.
China plans to complete a network linking more than 30 satellites providing real-time geospatial information worldwide by 2020.
The system started operating in mainland China in 2000 and then expanded to cover the Asia-Pacific region in 2012. The Beidou-3 satellites represent an upgrade with enhanced ability to communicate with other satellite navigation systems.
The network would eventually provide monitoring and safety information along the nation's multinational infrastructure megaproject, the Belt and Road Initiative.