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Saudi Arabia to launch two satellites

Posted on Nov 13, 03:11PM | IANS

Saudi Arabia is set to launch two indigenous satellites with a precision navigation system within the next few years, Prince Turki Bin Saud Bin Muhammad has said.

According to Prince Turki, who is vice president for research institutes at King Abdul Aziz city for Science and Technology, the satellites -- Saudisat 4 and Saudi GEO 1 -- will be launched in 2013 and 2015 respectively.

These satellites will be equipped with highly sensitive devices and cameras for conducting various scientific experiments.

"This is a part of a long-range 20-year strategic plan the Kingdom adopted in the field of space technology research. It started in 2005 and will last until 2025," Turki said.

Saudi Arabia currently has 12 satellites used for a variety of applications, including communication, land and sea navigation. These were all launched by Russian carrier rockets from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan, he said.

He also revealed Saudi Arabia would spend over USD 2 billion in state funds for these purposes.