SpaceX’s satellite internet service, known as Starlink, has won a contract from the U.S. Department of Defense to buy services for Ukraine, according to the Pentagon.
Starlink has played a crucial part in aiding Ukrainian troops for a number of things, including communications with other soldiers during its ongoing conflict with Russia. Starlink has provided the country with tens of thousands of antennas and terminals while also spending tens of millions to assist the country.
The aerospace company headed by CEO Elon Musk has received private donations and a separate contract with a U.S. foreign aid agency to provide Ukraine with what it needs to effectively assist.
“We continue to work with a range of global partners to ensure Ukraine has the resilient satellite and communication capabilities they need. Satellite communications constitute a vital layer in Ukraine’s overall communications network, and the department contracts with Starlink for services of this type,” the Pentagon said in a statement via Bloomberg.
Musk noted late last year that SpaceX could not indefinitely fund Starlink’s operation in Ukraine, as it costs nearly the company $80 million at that point, and costs would swell to over $100 million by the end of the year.
Bad reporting by FT. This article falsely claims that Starlink terminals & service were paid for, when only a small percentage have been.
This operation has cost SpaceX $80M & will exceed $100M by end of year.
As for what’s happening on the battlefield, that’s classified.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 7, 2022
Charitable donations were reportedly “coming to an end,” according to a CNN exclusive. But government funding is what will take over the cost. However, the specific financial terms of the contract are not being disclosed “for operational security reasons and due to the critical nature of these systems.”
SpaceX has combated the Russian government’s attempts to block Starlink’s operations in the region by improving the software’s resilience.
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