Galileo, good riddance! The United Kingdom is already in talks with the United States on incorporating GPS into satellites.
After being kicked out of the Galileo program, the UK is claimed to be already “talking with the US” about combining its GPS technology into a series of breakthrough satellites.
In 2026, the EU’s Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) will go active, with a Public Regulated Service (PRS) that government agencies, armed forces, and emergency services can utilize. Despite the UK building its “brains and heart,” the bloc decided that this “crucial characteristic” would only be available to bloc members. Since then, the government has placed its trust in OneWeb, a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) broadband constellation that was acquired from bankruptcy with Bharti Global, an Indian firm.
Currently, the United Kingdom relies on America’s GPS system, but David Morris, Chair of the Parliamentary Space Committee, expects that partnership will strengthen.
“We have been talking with the US about including GPS for some time,” he informed this publication.
Because our partners are in NATO, it’ll only be a matter of time before it merges with OneWeb.
“We now have the ability to set our own agenda.”
OneWeb was built first and foremost as a broadband constellation, providing rural 4G and, eventually, 5G Internet transmissions across the country.
It will operate in low Earth orbit (LEO), as opposed to Galileo and GPS’s medium Earth orbits.
While OneWeb’s first batch of satellites will be used for broadband, some have speculated that future developments could incorporate navigation capabilities similar to Galileo.
Others, on the other hand, are more skeptical.
Dr. Bleddyn Bowen of Leicester University famously said that the UK had “purchased the incorrect satellite” to replace Galileo.
Another unnamed space industry insider compared the plan to “trying to develop a cross between a Formula 1 racing vehicle and a garbage truck.”
It comes after the government and Indian firm Bharti Global paid $1 billion (£730 million) to buy OneWeb out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year.
It has now declared itself “financially safe” after raising the $2.4 billion (£1.73 billion) needed to complete the constellation’s last 650 satellites.
The team is now focusing on completing its global coverage, but the 254 probes that have already been launched are sufficient to begin providing a commercial service to the Northern Hemisphere.
BT has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the company to examine the possibilities. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”