Russian GLONASS GPS Designer Fired

RiaNovosti
Sunday, November 11, 2012

The chief designer or Russia’s Glonass satellite navigation system, Yury Urlichich, has been dismissed.

The Glonass program has been in the works since the 1970s, but underwent a radical revamp in 2001. The 24 satellites comprising the system were put into orbit by 2010, The program cost 140 billion rubles (US$4.4 billion) to implement, and its budget for 2012-2020 stands at a further 326 billion rubles (US$10 billion).

According to RiaNovosti the decision was made by the government’s military-industrial commission, which is headed by Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.

Russia’s rival to GPS was rocked by fraud allegations earlier this month, with the Interior Ministry accusing unnamed Glonass officers of embezzling 6.5 billion rubles (US$200-million) of program’s funds.

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