The Pentagon announced on Thursday it has agreed to purchase Starlink satellite internet kits from SpaceX to bolster Ukraine’s communication capabilities during the ongoing Russian invasion.
The contract, which was reported by Bloomberg, builds on the work already done by SpaceX to provide Starlink terminals to Ukraine. The company delivered the first Starlink terminals to Ukraine days after Russian troops’ stormed into the country last year.
The delivery came after Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s digital minister, reached out to Elon Musk on Twitter, requesting the activation of Starlink’s capabilities. Fedorov has since shared several photos showing truck loads full of Starlink boxes in the country.
The Pentagon emphasized the importance of satellite communications in Ukraine’s overall network, saying in a statement to CNBC, “We continue to work with a range of global partners to ensure Ukraine has the satellite and communication capabilities they need.” While the Pentagon refrained from disclosing specific details regarding the contract, including the price and timeline, it stressed the critical nature of the systems and cited operational security reasons for the limited information provided.
In October last year Musk said that SpaceX could not sustain funding for Starlink terminals in Ukraine indefinitely. However, he subsequently reversed this stance and continued to finance the service.