As Kyiv continues to defend itself against a full-scale Russian invasion, the Pentagon announced Thursday that it has decided to buy Starlink satellite internet terminals from Elon Musk’s SpaceX for use in Ukraine.
Empowering Ukraine’s Satellite Capabilities
To guarantee that Ukraine has the satellite and communication capabilities they require, we continue to collaborate with a variety of international partners. In Ukraine’s total communications network, satellite communications form a crucial component. For these services, the department has a contract with Starlink, according to a statement from the Pentagon to CNBC.
The Pentagon denied to provide other contract information, such as the cost, scope, and delivery schedule. The statement continued, “Due to the critical nature of these systems and operational security considerations, we do not have additional information regarding specific capabilities, contracts, or partners to provide at this time.”
The arrangement was first covered by Bloomberg on Thursday. CNBC’s request for comment was not immediately answered by SpaceX. Four days after Russian troops crossed the country’s border in what turned out to be the biggest air, land, and sea attack in Europe since World War II, the first Starlink internet terminals in Ukraine arrived.
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Mykhailo Fedorov, the digital minister for Ukraine, tweeted that Starlink was “here” in the country and included a picture of a truck with more than two dozen boxes in the back. Fedorov had earlier asked Musk for the capability on Twitter. Musk claimed in October that SpaceX wouldn’t be able to continue paying for the use of Starlink terminals across the nation out of its own funds “indefinitely,” following a CNN story that the business had requested cash from the Pentagon.
Western officials have praised Musk’s decision to provide Starlink internet to Ukraine in the past, praising him for taking the initiative in light of the massive and indiscriminate Russian bombing of the country’s civilian infrastructure that has rendered significant sections of it communication-less. As Ukraine prepared to fight through the severe winter, Musk reportedly informed the Pentagon in October that he would no longer be providing financial support for the Starlink terminals there. The millionaire, though, changed his mind and did continue to support the programme.