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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Pentagon says it’s paying for Elon Musk’s Starlink web in Ukraine

The Pentagon disclosed on Thursday that it has signed a contract to supply SpaceX’s Starlink satellite tv for pc web service in Ukraine, almost eight months after Elon Musk, the corporate’s mercurial proprietor, threatened to terminate entry except the U.S. authorities paid for it.

The Protection Division acknowledged the choice however withheld just about all particulars in regards to the settlement, together with how a lot it should price U.S. taxpayers and when the contract was signed. U.S. protection officers have beforehand estimated that the annual price for Starlink in Ukraine, which Musk principally had been donating, will probably be a whole bunch of thousands and thousands of {dollars}.

“Satellite tv for pc communications represent a significant layer in Ukraine’s general communications community and the division contracts with Starlink for companies of this sort,” the Pentagon stated in a press release. “Nevertheless, for operational safety causes and as a result of crucial nature of those programs — we wouldn’t have extra info relating to particular capabilities, contracts or companions to supply right now.”

Although phrases of the deal stay a thriller, it could seem like a windfall for Musk, whose $44 billion acquisition of Twitter final 12 months has been a colossal bust to this point. Constancy estimated in a report launched earlier this week that the social media firm might have misplaced two-thirds of its worth.

Officers with SpaceX didn’t reply to an e-mail requesting remark in regards to the contract, which was first reported by Bloomberg. Musk didn’t reply to questions when contacted by means of Twitter.

Russia assessments secretive weapon to focus on SpaceX’s Starlink in Ukraine

Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in early 2022, Starlink has change into a lifeline for its authorities, armed forces and different important operations similar to hospitals. Musk, one of many world’s richest individuals, supplied 1000’s of Starlink terminals however because the battle has endured, he has expressed concern in regards to the expertise getting used for army functions.

“We’re making an attempt onerous to do the appropriate factor, the place the ‘proper factor’ is an especially tough ethical query,” Musk wrote on Twitter in February. In October, Musk had urged, additionally in a tweet, that SpaceX couldn’t proceed to cowl the price of Starlink in Ukraine. His musings sparked an uproar.

“SpaceX isn’t asking to recoup previous bills, but additionally can not fund the present system indefinitely *and* ship a number of thousand extra terminals which have information utilization as much as 100X larger than typical households,” Musk wrote then, including, “That is unreasonable.”

A day later, Musk struck a distinct tone.

“The hell with it … regardless that Starlink continues to be dropping cash & different corporations are getting billions of taxpayer $, we’ll simply hold funding Ukraine govt free,” he tweeted. After somebody responded to his tweet with the saying, “no good deed goes unpunished,” Musk responded: “Even so, we should always nonetheless do good deeds.”

SpaceX had beforehand solid the supply of terminals as a humanitarian gesture, and has provided Starlink to different international locations after disasters. However the USA Company for Worldwide Growth additionally has bought some Starlink tools and paid to ship it to Ukraine, in response to paperwork beforehand obtained by The Washington Publish.

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