SpaceX Starlink has achieved another significant milestone, completing nine months of rigorous military testing in the Arctic. The success of these tests positions Starlink as a reliable and high-performance communications system, particularly in challenging conditions, and opens the door for potential Pentagon contracts.
The previously undisclosed tests, first reported by Bloomberg, were conducted by the U.S. Air Force and completed in June. The tests assessed the satellite internet service’s effectiveness in meeting the operational needs of the Pentagon in the harsh Arctic environment. Brian Beal, principal engineer with the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Integrated Capabilities Directorate, stated that Starlink proved itself as a dependable communication system, even in on-the-move scenarios, despite extreme weather conditions such as high winds and cold temperatures.
Starlink’s success in these tests positions it as a crucial asset, offering a potential solution to existing limitations through its portable terminals.
The successful completion of the Arctic tests allows potential Space Force contracts with SpaceX, and Beal confirms that both Starlink and OneWeb series “are now available for procurement.” The results have been shared with various parties within the Air Force, signaling a positive step towards strengthening strategic deterrence through faster and additional communication layers.
This achievement adds another feather to SpaceX’s cap. The aerospace company has been awarded numerous government contracts, including a still undisclosed Pentagon contract to provide Starlink satellite communications to the Ukrainian military earlier this year.