SpaceX’s Starlink Deployment Deal in Ukraine Valued at Around $23 Million: Report

By Trisha Andrada

Apr 10, 2024 04:51 AM EDT

Starlink satellite antennas are seen at the Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA), the international trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances, on August 31, 2023 during a preview at the fair grounds in Berlin.
(Photo : ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images)

The Pentagon has just disclosed that the contract to install Elon Musk's Starlink terminals in Ukraine is valued at $23 million.

The $23 Million Deal Is Part of US Military Aid to Ukraine

The contract is an essential component of the United States defense assistance being offered to Ukraine, according to an anonymous US official who talked to Bloomberg. The source refrained from commenting on the possibility of a contract renewal, which currently runs from June 2023 to next month.

After reports of the deal emerged last year, the US declined to reveal the contract's value until now. When asked what had changed, the official cited a Freedom of Information Act request by Defense Daily, a publication covering the military industry in Washington.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, portable Starlink terminals have maintained civilian connectivity and provided vital communications for the country's military. US military authorities have praised this technology.

In May 2022, Ukrainian Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov said that the country received 10,000 Starlink terminals, which supplied vital communications infrastructure amid the conflict with Russia.

READ NEXT: Ukraine Boosts Funding for Domestic Weaponry Amid Escalating Tensions With Russia

Musk Voices Hesitancy Over Ukraine's Starlink Usage

However, Musk is not quite sold on the idea of Ukraine using the terminals, claiming that they are intended for commercial and not military use.

In a social media post last year, he wrote: "Starlink is the communication backbone of Ukraine, especially at the front lines, where almost all other Internet connectivity has been destroyed. But we will not enable escalation of conflict that may lead to [World War III]."

Musk once said that his business could not continue to pay for Ukraine's high-speed broadband internet forever and threatened to halt funding for Starlink.

READ MORE: Ukraine Takes Down Russian-Used Starlink Systems Amidst Elon Musk's Denials of Doing Business with Kremlin

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