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

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

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

“Satellite tv for pc communications represent a significant layer in Ukraine’s total communications community and the division contracts with Starlink for providers of this sort,” the Pentagon mentioned in a press release. “Nevertheless, for operational safety causes and because of the essential nature of those programs — we do not need further data concerning particular capabilities, contracts or companions to supply presently.”

Although phrases of the deal stay a thriller, it will seem like a windfall for Musk, whose $44 billion acquisition of Twitter final 12 months has been a colossal bust to date. A Constancy mutual fund estimated in a report launched this week that the social media firm could 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 News. Musk didn’t reply to questions when contacted by means of Twitter.

Russia tests secretive weapon to target SpaceX’s Starlink in Ukraine

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

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

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

A day later, Musk struck a different tone.

“The hell with it … though Starlink continues to be shedding cash & different firms are getting billions of taxpayer $, we’ll simply maintain 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 availability of terminals as a humanitarian gesture, and has supplied Starlink to different international locations after disasters. However the U.S. Company for Worldwide Growth additionally has bought some Starlink tools and paid to ship it to Ukraine, based on paperwork previously obtained by The Washington Post.



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