Pentagon to buy Starlink terminals for Ukraine from SpaceX
The Pentagon has announced that it will buy Starlink terminals for the Ukrainian military. For security reasons, the exact number of contracts and terminals isn't yet known
Bloomberg reports that the terminals are likely to be purchased under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative.
“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.
For security reasons, the US Department of Defense does not provide additional information on the number of contracts and names of partners.
The publication notes that back in December, the US Department of Defense announced that it would provide Ukraine with terminals and satellite communications services, but did not confirm that SpaceX would receive the contract.
Bloomberg comments that this statement was the last word in the Pentagon's often contentious relationship with Musk, as last October the SpaceX owner informed the Pentagon that he would not continue to pay the bills for the portable terminals.
Earlier, Elon Musk's SpaceX company took steps to prevent the Ukrainian military from using Starlink satellite internet to control drones. SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell said that the Starlink satellite Internet, which provided broadband to the Ukrainian military, was never intended to be used as a weapon.
American astronaut Scott Kelly called on Elon Musk to return full access to Starlink to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The businessman refused the request and justified it by saying that he will not allow an escalation of the conflict that could lead to World War III.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the US government has had a number of conversations with Musk about the use of Starlink satellite internet in Ukraine.