China has completed its BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), with the 55th and final geostationary satellite in the constellation launched June 23.
BDS-3, the third iteration of the BeiDou system, could rival the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS), Russia's GLONASS, and the European Union's Galileo networks.
BDS-3 serves as a highly accurate navigation aid while also offering short message communication of up to 1,200 Chinese characters, as well as the ability to transmit images.
One of the biggest advantages of BDS-3 for China is the ability to replace GPS for guiding its missiles, which comes amid rising tensions with Washington.
BDS-3 also could raise China's economic and political leverage over nations adopting the system.
From Associated Press
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