Russia is planning to develop a new satellite communication system for government and military use, reported the state-run news agency Ria Novosti. The approximately $1.8 billion project would allow simultaneous coverage of nearly one million high-speed terminals. It is projected to reach 80 gigabits by 2020 and 120 gigabits by 2025, according to the report. The new system will be based on the Gonets-M1 and Gonets-M2 communications systems. In May, Russian Deputy Prime Minister for Defense Dmitry Rogozin said Russia would be discontinuing its participation in the International Space Station in 2020 to look toward other projects, saying the Russian Space Agency “is capable of operating independently from the US, but not vice versa,” despite US authorities’ desire to extend the agreement to 2024. The new system will be comprised of four satellites, equipped with transponders and air traffic control systems, states the report.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.