A proposal by European officials to allow military use of the Galileo satellite navigation system has could cause new friction with the US and cost it one international partner. According to an article from the British newspaper The Independent (via the Belfast Telegraph), European transport commissioner Jacques Barrot has suggested that military users of Galileo could help defray some of the costs of the system while giving European forces a navigation system independent of GPS. British officials were opposed to such a shift.
Potential military uses of Galileo aren’t likely to win support in India, which is already weighing whether it should continue its participation in the project. The Times of India reports that Indian officials failed to reach an agreement with EU counterparts about India’s role in Galileo because of “fears that sharing of sensitive data may not be adequately firewalled from individuals and other nations participating in the enterprise.” India has already hedged its bets on Galileo by agreeing to cooperate with Russian on its Glonass satellite navigation system, while announcing plans earlier this year to develop a regional satellite navigation system.