The completion of the launch automatically reduces the superiority of the US Army and a long held egemony on GPS.
The United States had continuously tried all they could to halt the program, but ultimately failed to stop it, thanks to China’s resilience. China’s resilience facilitated the completion of their BeiDou global satellite navigational system(GPS).
The United States was the first country in the world to operate and maintain a GPS system in the early 1970s. In other to reduce this monopoly, about fifteen (15) European countries came together to develop another global positioning system called Galileo in March 2002. While in development, the then US Deputy Defence Secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, gave a stern warning to the European Union’s minister of defence against developing an alternative global positioning system to the US. He also threatened that the US will not hesitate to shoot down any satellites that they launch.
However, Europe did their best to withstand the pressure mounted by the US at that time, also bringing in China in 2003 to help out with the Galileo project.
China contributed about €230 million to help funding project, but was ultimately played out of the project when pro-US European leaders assumed power from 2005 onwards. This resulted in China being effectively excluded from the project on alleged grounds of ‘National Security’.
Having had enough, China decided to go it alone in 2006. The United States had already demonstrated its capability to take down any satellite with its ASM-135 ASAT missile back in 1985, were prepared to incinerate any Chinese positioning satellite system put into space. But, something happened on 11th Jan, 2007 which changed everything.
China successfully performed an anti-satellite test with a kinetic kill vehicle called SC-19. The test was a deterrence message to the US that if they shoot down any Chinese satellites, the Chinese will not hesitate to shoot down US satellites as well.
After ensuring that the message was well received by the US, China started launching its operational BeiDou satellites into space. This program was finally completed for global coverage on the June, 23,2020 after the last BD-3 satellite was successfully launched into orbit.