Glonass (Global Navigation Satellite System) is the Russian equivalent of the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS), which is designed for both military and civilian use, and allows users to identify their current location and direction.
"I have signed a government directive on increased financing of the Glonass program to the sum of 67 billion rubles ($2.6 bln)," Vladimir Putin said at a working meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov.
Putin also said he would soon sign a directive on 45 billion rubles ($1.8 bln) in additional funding for the country's space program.
Ivanov, who is responsible for state policies relating to industry development, defense, nuclear and space industries and transportation, said the majority of the funds would go to adding new satellites to the existing Glonass satellite grouping.
"Six new Glonass satellites will be put into orbit this year to total 22 spacecraft," he said. "We are hoping that Glonass will provide global navigation and positioning coverage by 2012."
The head of the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos), Anatoly Perminov, said on September 5 that the number of satellites in Russia's Glonass navigation system will be increased from the current 16 to 30 by 2011.
It was earlier reported that the Glonass system would include 18 satellites for continued navigation services covering the entire territory of the Russian Federation, and 24 satellites to provide services worldwide.
According to the Central Research Institute for Machine Building, the Glonass system currently consists of 16 satellites, with 13 satellites operating as intended, two undergoing maintenance and one that is due to be withdrawn from the orbital grouping.
A total of 9.9 billion rubles ($418.25 million) was allocated for Glonass from the federal budget in 2007, and 4.7 billion rubles ($200 million) in 2006.
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