Pentagon’s Ukraine contract for Musk’s Starlink expires – Bloomberg — RT World News

The newspaper wrote that it was unclear whether the deal for the satellite network that was “Ukraine's communications backbone” would be extended.

The Pentagon contract to deploy Elon Musk's Starlink stations in Ukraine will expire next month, Bloomberg reported, citing an unnamed US official. The report adds that the service plays a vital role in the security assistance provided by Washington to Kiev.

The source also revealed that the contract, which took effect in June last year and runs through May, is worth $23 million, Bloomberg wrote. The US Department of Defense has so far refused to officially disclose the size of the contract. The post described the amount as “little” Compared with the “Hundreds of millions of dollars” Musk's company SpaceX has received from the United States to launch some of its national security satellites.

Musk has repeatedly expressed concern about the use of Starlink in Ukraine. The satellite network provides communications for the country's military and government.

“Starlink should be a civilian network, not a combat participant,” Musk said on X (formerly Twitter) in September, referring to the use of satellites in Ukraine throughout the conflict with Russia. “This is the right order of things.” he added.

Musk's comment came shortly after the billionaire revealed he had thwarted a Ukrainian drone raid on Crimea by refusing to allow Kiev forces to use Starlink to direct naval drone strikes on Russian ships. Musk's confession sparked anger in Kiev, where Mikhail Podoliak, a senior advisor to President Vladimir Zelensky, accused him of… “Empowering evil.”

Musk responded to the accusation by clarifying that he was not obligated to fight for Ukraine, adding that he did not want Space “Frankly complicit in a major act of war and escalation of conflict.”

His statements echoed a previous statement he made in the winter of 2023, where he admitted that even though Starlink was “Ukraine's communications backbone, especially on the front lines”SpaceX “It will not allow an escalation of the conflict that could lead to World War III.”

Last year, SpaceX signed a contract with the US Department of Defense to provide satellite services as part of the Pentagon's new “Starshield” program. CEO Elon Musk described the effort as a military alternative to “civil” Starlink. However, according to Bloomberg, the new Space Force contract will see Starshield rely on the existing Starlink satellite constellation.

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