The rate of Glonass satellite launches that Russia can sustain is about one launch (which means three satellites) a year. Albert Kozlov, the General Designer of the NPO PM, which produces the spacecraft, just announced that the next launch will take place in the end of 2005. The last two launches were in December 2003 and December 2004.

Of the three satellites that were launches in each of these launches one was Glonass-M, a new-generation satellite with extended lifetime. For the 2005 launch the NPO PM is building two satellites of the Glonass-M type (the third one will still be a plain old Glonass).

As it is always the case with Russian defense industry managers, Kozlov complained about the lack of stable financing and about subcontractors, who don't supply components in time. There is no reason not to belive him, but it's worth remembering that Glonass is a very high-priority program that has a separate line in the budget. It this program is not financed properly, how does the rest of the industry cope?