China has launched the last satellite in its BeiDou navigation system from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan Province.

This launch means that China will no longer have to depend on the global positioning system (GPS) owned by the US government.

The $10bn BeiDou-3 navigation system network comprises 35 satellites and offers global navigation coverage.

This launch was slated for last week but was postponed due to detected technical problems with the rocket during the pre-launch tests.

The Beidou-3 Navigation Satellite System (BDS) provides an alternative to Russia’s GLONASS, the European Galileo systems, and the US’ GPS.

Among the future plans include supporting a more integrated system that is slated to come online by 2035, with at the core being BDS.

Considered to be the 55th BDS system, the latest GEO satellite will work with other members in the network, thereby enabling users across the world to gain access to high-accuracy navigation, positioning, timing and communication services, reported Global Times.

Unlike the earlier generation series, the BDS-3 constellation with a line-up of 30 satellites flies on three orbit planes.

Three operate at the GEO while three operate at geosynchronous orbits, and 24 at medium-Earth orbit.

They offer higher bandwidth, and enhanced communication capability and carry more stable atomic clocks, which in turn helps in improving the exactness of timing and navigation services, according to the report.

The first BeiDou satellite was launched into orbit in 2000 and began offering navigation, positioning, timing and messaging services in China and the Asia-Pacific towards the end of 2012.

In 2018, the BDS system began offering global services. Construction of the BDS-3 primary system was also completed during the same year.

In May 2019, China launched a new satellite of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province using a Long March-3C carrier rocket to broadcast positioning and timing signals around the world this year.

The launch involved the fourth BDS-2 backup satellite and 45th unit of the BDS satellite family.