Moscow: Russia Thursday launched a rocket carrying three navigation satellites from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan.
The Proton-M carrier rocket with three Glonass satellites blasted off from the space centre at 4.53 a.m. Moscow time (0053 GMT), said Lt. Col. Alexei Zolotukhin, spokesman for Russian Space Forces.
Glonass - the Global Navigation Satellite System - is the Russian equivalent of the US Global Positioning System (GPS) and is designed for both military and civilian use.
Russia currently has a total of 22 Glonass satellites in orbit, but only 16 of them are functional. The system requires 18 operational satellites for continuous navigation services covering the entire territory of Russia and at least 24 satellites to provide navigation services worldwide.