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Old 07-09-2004, 10:48 AM   #1

Join Date: March 21, 2001
Location: Europe
Age: 39
Posts: 6,136
At a summit meeting held late last month in Ireland, the United States and the European Union said they had ended a long dispute on a planned European satellite positioning system called ‘Galileo'. Washington will no longer oppose Galileo, the future European equivalent of the American global positioning system (GPS).

The Galileo project is co-financed by countries such as China, India and Israel, and will be operational in 2008. But the small print of the EU-US agreement shows that the accord reached at the summit meeting is far from complete. In fact, the parties shied away from even trying to reach agreement about the core of the dispute: the crucial military applications of Galileo.

Radio Netherlands spoke to Dr Richard North of the conservative British think-tank ‘The Bruges Group', who has written a report about the rather secret military dimensions of the new European satellite system:

"This is a very strange situation where the [European] Commission and the European authorities generally are denying that the Galileo system has any military uses or any military applications, so that it isn ‘t even on the table, officially, to be discussed."

RN: "What would any military applications of Galileo be?"

"Well, the quality of signal they are planning with Galileo, the so-called PRS signal, is used for terminal guidance on high-accuracy missiles, bombs and other ordinance, the so-called smart bombs. It's this that'll steer a missile into a building with a half-metre accuracy. It's also a central part of any military-command and control structure, with asset location, asset management, and even down to highly-sophisticated logistic management systems, which are an intrinsic part of modern warfare."

RN: "Will Galileo also have civilian applications which are less precise but quite adequate for navigation or tracking trucks, making long walks, and a much more precise military type of signal?"

"Absolutely so. There will be a reasonably high-accuracy civilian signal, but they're also producing what they are calling the Public Regulated Service Code, which is an exact analogy to the US military code – military signal - of an extreme accuracy that, frankly, only has one justification and one application, and that is for military use."

RN: "In a recent article you wrote on Galileo, you went as far as saying that Galileo could be an instrument to destroy the Atlantic alliance, and also destroy the special relationship that the United Kingdom has with the United States. Isn't that a bit far-fetched?"

"Not at all. It's actually happening. You see, the Americans have their own GPS system, they are sharing technology with NATO, and most of NATO's advanced weapons rely on the American system."

"Now, what the Americans are quite concerned about – quite rightly, because they have good evidence that it's happening – is "technological bleed". They are transferring technology to NATO, and they are finding that that technology is ending up in the hands of potential adversaries, such as China. They are taking the view that they can no longer trust NATO allies with sophisticated technology, and are progressively holding back or refusing to give access to that technology."

"Now, that puts us in a position where we have to look at the United States and say are we going to continue to reply on US technology, in which case further integration into EU military structures is going to close down that access? Or are we going to go fully into a European situation, in which case we are going to see nothing [and] there is going to be effectively a divorce with the Americans and their technology?"


[ 07-09-2004, 10:49 AM: Message edited by: Dreamer128 ]
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