EU, US agree on plan for compatible satellite system

The US and the European Union agreed to adopt a mutually compatible satellite navigation system that would provide users with the combined benefits of America's GPS and the EU's Galileo systems, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said in 2004, the two sides agreed to overcome technical differences between the two navigation aids by designing a civilian navigation signal combining the two different systems.

'The agreement to jointly use "&brkbar; these interoperable civil signals demonstrates the close US and EU cooperation since 2004 to ensure that the global positioning system and Galileo are compatible and interoperable at the user level,' a European Commission statement quoted by the report said.

Galileo is envisaged as a rival to the popular US-run GPS system and has been touted as a key high-technology venture for the EU.

But last month, European governments were forced to bail out the problem-plagued multibillion dollar project with taxpayer money after infighting between contractors from France, Germany, Spain, Britain and Italy caused massive delays, the report said.

China is also building its own global positioning system.