World War II-era navigation system shutting down





In a series of small ceremonies, the U.S. Coast Guard on Monday afternoon will shut down Loran-C, a navigation and timing system that has guided mariners and aviators since World War II.

The death blow came last May when President Obama called the system obsolete, saying it is no longer needed in an age in which Global Positioning System devices are nearly ubiquitous in cars, planes and boats.

Killing Loran-C will save the government $190 million over five years, Obama said. But supporters of Loran -- including the man known as "the father of GPS" -- say the nation's increasing reliance on GPS paradoxically has increased the importance of maintaining Loran as a backup.



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