Pentagon and SpaceX Oppose Russian Use of Starlink Terminals

Pentagon and SpaceX Oppose Russian Use of Starlink Terminals

Russia Satellite Space SpaceX Starlink Ukraine USA War with Russia

Bloomberg reported that the Pentagon has found a solution to counter the Russian military’s unauthorized use of Starlink internet terminals.

The details of this development were outlined in the report.

The Head of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Space Policy Division says the Pentagon has found a way to prevent the Russian military from using Starlink Internet terminals without authorization.

“The US has been heavily involved in working with the government of Ukraine and SpaceX to counter Russian illicit use of Starlink terminals,” said John Plumb, the outgoing assistant secretary for space policy.

Термінал Starlink на російській позиції в окупованій частині України. Фото: defenseone.com

The United States already opposes the use of Stralink terminals by the Russian military, but Plumb believes that Russia is trying to circumvent these restrictions.

“Although it will continue to be a challenge, I think we have dealt with it and found good solutions with both Starlink and Ukraine,” he added.

Plumb declined to specify what tactics, methods, or procedures were being used to counter Russian use of Stralink.

Problems with Starlink in Ukraine

On February 9, 2023, Militarnyi reported that SpaceX has taken steps to prevent Ukraine’s military from using the company’s Starlink satellite internet service to control drones in the region in the war with Russia.

SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service, which has provided Ukraine’s military with broadband communications in its defense against Russia’s military, was “never meant to be weaponized,” said Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s president and Chief Operating Officer.

According to Shotwell, the use of Starlink with drones is beyond the scope of the agreement that SpaceX has with the government of Ukraine.

Later, in September 2023, it was reported that Elon Musk had handed over control of some of the Starlink satellite communication terminals used by the Defense Forces to the Pentagon.

The reason for this decision was Mask’s desire to dissociate himself from responsibility related to the Russian-Ukrainian war.

In February 2024, information appeared that Russian forces were increasingly using Starlink terminals within the territories they occupy.

Businessman Elon Musk reacted to reports that the Russian army was using Starlink terminals in the war with Ukraine.

Musk called this information “false,” saying that his company, SpaceX, did not sell these satellite Internet terminals to Russia.

An alternative to Starlink

In early April, it was reported that Kyivstar, Ukraine’s largest mobile operator, would be the official representative of the British company OneWeb in Ukraine.

This was stated by Kyivstar B2B Director Kostiantyn Vechir at the Business Wisdom Summit.

OneWeb owns a constellation of satellites to provide broadband Internet connectivity and is an alternative to SpaceX’s Starlink.

“We are currently testing OneWeb technology with some defense forces. We will be the official representative of the company in Ukraine. We will also be able to offer these services to businesses,” said Vechir.

He added that OneWeb has its own satellite network and can provide high-speed satellite Internet, particularly in non-standard conditions.

Russia Satellite Space SpaceX Starlink Ukraine USA War with Russia