The GLONASS (Глоба́льная навигацио́нная спу́тниковая систе́ма (Globalnaja nawigazionnaja sputnikowaja sistema) (Globales Satellite navigation system)) system is a global Russia-based satellite navigation system for high-precision positioning, navigation and timing. Russia had been the end of 2006 announced that they intend to release his most reserved for military use Satellite System GLONASS for civilian use. Given the number of Uragan satellites should be increased from 12 to 18, in order to first achieve full coverage of Russia in a first step. In a second step, the number of satellites should be increased to at least 24, whereby a global coverage can be achieved.
The development of the system began in 1972. The first three satellites launched on 12 October 1982 the system has been declared officially operational on 24 September 1993rd The maximum configuration, consisting of 21 standard and three spare satellites was achieved 1996th In subsequent years, the number of functioning satellites went back but dramatically so that GLONASS was not usable as a standalone navigation system. But Russia was its own specifications initially fail to comply: Originally, the global coverage was already announced for 2009. In early 2008 the Russian Defense Ministry said that the expansion of GLONASS could be expected with considerable delays and are likely to have global coverage at the earliest in a few years.
In December 2011, Russia succeeded finally to bring a sufficient number of functional satellites in orbit so that GLONASS is now principally used worldwide.