(h/t to TX2Guns) China’s version of GPS, called BeiDou, is nearly complete according to PopSci. This will allow China to work independently from other systems, namely US’ GPS and Russia’s GLONASS.

The latest satellite in the navigation system, a third-gen craft (known as BeiDou-3) now in a geostationary orbit, lifted off earlier this month from the Xichang Center in southwestern China. The system’s final satellite, scheduled for launch in May, will give it full global capability.

So they have a timeline of one more month for full operational capacity, and evidence supports that they’re using the system now. The People’s Liberation Army has already converted much of its new equipment to implement its use.

For the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), BeiDou acts as a domestically-controlled alternative to international systems. A cornerstone of the PLA’s modernization has been working toward being able to fight modern wars that require precision-guided weapons and advanced communication networks. Those need positioning, navigation, and timing satellites like BeiDou.

Further, China is telegraphing their own intend on targeting India by exporting weapons and equipment to Pakistan specifically designed for the navigation system:

China is also beginning to export weapons systems powered by BeiDou—most prominently with its “all-weather strategic partner” Pakistan.

Additionally, Pakistan’s homegrown Ra’ad-II cruise missile tested in February reportedly uses BeiDou as well as part of its effort to decrease reliance on GPS.

The target frequencies of interest for the BeiDou system, according to open sources, are:

  • B1C / B1I / B1A : 1575.42 mHz
  • B2A / B2B:           1191.795 mHz
  • B3I / B3Q / B3A: 1268.52 mHz
  • Bs Test Freq:        2492.028 mHz

Intelligence is useless without exploitation.


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