Though the recent tumult over whether Elon Musk’s SpaceX would continue to fund the operation of its Starlink satellite service in Ukraine appears to be over for now, an uncomfortable question remains: If for some reason Starlink is not available, who else might the Pentagon, or Ukrainian forces for that matter, be able to turn to?While there are other satellite communications firms providing internet connectivity from space, experts say that, at least in the short term, there are few that provide both the wide global coverage and inexpensive, highly mobile and easy-to-use receiver terminals that have made Starlink a vital part of Ukraine’s war against Russia.“There really aren’t any great substitutes here. I mean, this is why [Starlink has] been such a game changer, because there’s not been anything like it before,” said Tim Farrer, an industry consultant. That situation isn’t likely to change, he added, for “maybe about a year” — meaning that for the moment it is almost the only game in town for keeping the embattled Kyiv government and the Ukrainian military connected.
1. Efforts have been underway for more than a month to get Starlink terminals to Iran. One group of activists--who want to stay anonymous to protect their networks--asked me to share this video. They've already sent dozens of terminals to Iran and intend to scale up.2. These efforts are still *very* nascent, but they have evidence the terminals are working and claim they're taking extra precautions to lessen the risks to users. Videos have also begun trickling out of Starlink terminals being used inside the country.3. These efforts are independent of any efforts by the US government to get Starlink terminals to Iran and are in addition to, not in lieu of, other tools (including VPNs) to circumvent Iran's state censorship. The broad goal is to 'let 1000 flowers bloom'4. Getting Starlink terminals to Iran isn't risk-free, but Iranian popular demand for unfettered Internet access is enormous. iPhones, satellite dishes, and alcohol are all prohibited-the latter two are criminal offenses-yet all are ubiquitous inside Iran. Where there's a will...5. @elonmusk has been gracious with his support. Activists have told me it would be v helpful if Starlink dedicated an internal team to this Iran initiative to help address specific technical, safety, and logistical/financial questions. More context here:6. Many folks-including prominent Iranian-American tech entrepreneurs-have been engaged on this issue. One told me they are keen on scaling to several thousand terminals in the next 6 months. That may be an ambitious goal, but they are highly motivated despite the challenges.
The White House has engaged in talks with Elon Musk about the possibility of setting up SpaceX’s satellite internet service Starlink inside Iran, multiple officials familiar with the discussions told CNN.The conversations, which have not been previously reported, come as the Biden administration searches for ways to support the Iranian protest movement that exploded just over a month ago after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died under suspicious circumstances after being detained by the country’s morality police.The White House sees Starlink’s compact, easy-to-use technology as a potential solution to the Iranian regime’s aggressive efforts to restrict activists’ internet access and communications.
Recently, 27 foreign ministers representing countries in the European Union (EU) discussed Starlink services in Ukraine. They talked about funding Starlink to maintain telecommunications systems in Ukraine. Gabrielius Landsbergis, the Foreign Minister of Lithuania, told Politico that the EU’s discussion about funding Starlink services in Ukraine is still in its early stages. “I figured that it’s probably way better to have this as a contractual agreement between, let’s say, a coalition of countries that could purchase a service from Mr. Musk, the Starlink service, and provide it to the Ukrainians and keep on providing it to Ukrainians,” Landbergis noted.
Elon Musk: Before DoD even came back with an answer, I told @FedorovMykhailo that SpaceX would not turn off Starlink even if DoD refused to provide fundingMykhailo Fedorov: Thanks @elonmusk. Before all the talks about funding, you confirmed to me that in any case you will ensure the work of Starlinks in Ukraine. This was critically important for Ukraine. We are grateful to you!Elon Musk: You’re most welcomeSpidey_ElonFan: Elon, what about Iran?? More starlink support being sent there??Elon Musk: Yes
Scientists at a Chinese military nuclear laboratory say a moderately large atomic detonation near the edge of space could potentially create a temporary cloud of radiation that could quickly damage or destroy a large number of satellites in low Earth orbit. There are certainly questions about this anti-satellite concept, including its general practicality. However, it does highlight something that is increasingly set to be a hot topic of discussion in the coming years: how might you rapidly neutralize an enemy's distributed satellite constellation similar in concept to Starlink?
Russia warns West: We can target your commercial satellitesLONDON, Oct 27 (Reuters) - A senior Russian foreign ministry official said that commercial satellites from the United States and its allies could become legitimate targets for Russia if they were involved in the war in Ukraine.[...]"Quasi-civilian infrastructure may be a legitimate target for a retaliatory strike," Vorontsov told the United Nations First Committee, adding that the West's use of such satellites to support Ukraine was "provocative".
White House vows response if Russia attacks U.S. satellitesWASHINGTON, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Any response on U.S. infrastructure will be met with a response, the White House said on Thursday after a senior Russian foreign ministry official said Western commercial satellites could become legitimate targets for Russia if they were involved in the war in Ukraine.
#Ukraine: Remarkable video of today's attack on the Russian Sevastopol Naval Base.Ukrainian Uncrewed Surface Vessels (Drone boats filled with explosives) apparently managed to hit a Project 11356R frigate (presumably Admiral Makarov) & the Ivan Golubets Project 266M minesweeper.
Ukraine suffered a comms outage when 1,300 SpaceX satellite units went offline over funding issues
The outage affected a block of 1,300 terminals that Ukraine purchased from a British company in March and were used for combat-related operations. SpaceX was charging Ukraine’s military $2,500 a month to keep each of the 1,300 units connected, pushing the total cost to almost $20 million by September, the person briefed on the matter said. Eventually, they could no longer afford to pay, the person said
The first base stations of mobile operators in Kherson are operating on Starlink generators and terminals due to the lack of electricity.This was reported by Mykhailo Fedorov, Minister of Digital Transformation, on Telegram"People who have been under occupation for nine months were finally able to call their relatives and say that they are fine. While the city has a problem with other infrastructure, even a minute-long conversation helps the people of Kherson to feel at home again," the minister wrote.
Iranian border guards discovered the gray box in a van crossing from Iraq in late October. Inside was a sleek machine resembling a monitor. But after questioning the driver, the guards waved the vehicle through, people involved said.The guards had just allowed a Starlink satellite dish sold by a division of Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX, into the country. Around 200 of the devices, which enable users to access the internet through satellite links, have been smuggled into Iran by supporters of a monthslong rights movement to help protesters circumvent a government crackdown on online communications, according to the people involved in some of the shipments.
Ukraine will receive over 10,000 Starlink antennas to help counter Russian air attacks, said Mykhailo Fedorov, deputy prime minister and minister for digital transformation, in an interview with Bloomberg.Fedorov said that he has spoken with Elon Musk directly and that SpaceX and its CEO “quickly react to problems and help us.” Elon Musk assured the minister of his continued support for the nation.Musk assured us he would continue to support Ukraine. When we had a powerful blackout, I messaged him on that day, and he momentarily reacted and has already delivered some steps. He understands the situation,” he said.
"The Russian Sestroretsk arms factory claims that it has developed a Starlink terminal detection radar called Borshchevik which 'is designed to detect and determine the location of Starlink terminals in a 180-degree sector at a distance of up to 10 km.'"There's a dedicated website (domain registered 05-DEC-22) promoting this anti-Starlink "radar": https://mkpborshchevik.ru (🇬🇧https://mkpborshchevik-ru.translate.goog/?_x_tr_sl=ru&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=de&_x_tr_pto=wapp)The imagery is identical to that of a (mechanically moving) portable radar system built by the same vendor: https://radar3d.ruN.B.: The website says:🇷🇺Частотный диапазон, ГГц: 2,4 ; 5,8🇬🇧Frequency spectrum, GHz: 2.4 ; 5.8⬆️Obviously Wifi instead of Starlink freqs.Also the format of the specs table seems to be copied from the website of another vendor of radiolocating gear:https://btlabs.ru/volna.html
It's not really about Starlink. They are trying to detect the Starlink WiFi router simply by the MAC address of the access point. Nothing special.The general recommendation is to don't use WiFi when possible. Unfortunately, not everyone follows this rule.
Franz-Stefan Gady, of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a think-tank, recently visited the Ukrainian front lines and saw an example of what cheap, ubiquitous connectivity makes possible: a sort of Uber for howitzers. Ukrainian soldiers upload images of potential targets via a mobile network enabled by Starlink. These are sent to an encrypted group chat full of artillery-battery commanders. Those commanders then decide whether to shell the target and, if so, from where. It is much quicker than the means used to co-ordinate fire used up until now.The system also makes drone warfare much easier. In September a Ukrainian naval drone washed up in Sevastopol, the Crimean headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet with what looked like a Starlink terminal attached to its stern. In late October seven similar drones were used to mount a successful attack on the port. Ukraine published a video of the attack shot from the boat’s bow. “Ukrainian military operations are hugely dependent on having access to the internet,” says Mr Gady, “so Starlink is a most critical capability.” A Ukrainian soldier puts it more starkly. “Starlink is our oxygen,” he says. Were it to disappear “Our army would collapse into chaos.”
Taiwan is courting investors to help it establish its own satellite communications provider, inspired by the role Elon Musk’s Starlink has played in the war in Ukraine, as Taipei boosts efforts to fortify itself against a potential assault from China.Taiwan is in preliminary talks with several domestic and international investors to raise funds for the project, which the country’s space agency, known as TASA, wants to spin out of an existing satellite division, according to three people familiar with the situation.“We are going to spin our low-Earth orbit satellite communications project off into a company,” said a senior official at TASA. People familiar with the talks said the government wanted to retain a significant minority stake in the venture.
A downed Ukrainian drone equipped with a Starlink antenna for moving vehicles.
A commentator on Russian state TV accuses @elonmusk of being a militarist and war criminal for providing Starlink service to Ukraine.
Damned if you do, damned if you don’tSpaceX Starlink has become the connectivity backbone of Ukraine all the way up to the front lines. This is the damned if you do part. However, we are not allowing Starlink to be used for long-range drone strikes. This is the damned if you don’t part.
“We were really pleased to be able to provide Ukraine connectivity and help them in their fight for freedom,” she said. “It was never intended to be weaponized, but the Ukrainians have leveraged it in ways that were unintentional and not part of any agreement.”<snip>“We know the military is using them for comms and that’s OK. But our intent was never to have them use it for offensive purposes.”A general commercial agreement, like one any Starlink user signs, limits its use for offensive purposes, she said, but acknowledged SpaceX had not given the issue of how it might be used much thought when it started providing Starlink to Ukraine shortly after the invasion. “We didn’t think about it. I didn’t think about it,” she said. “But we learned pretty quickly.”Shotwell said SpaceX has since taken steps to limit Starlink’s use in supporting offensive military operations. “There are things that we can do to limit their ability to do that,” she said, declining to elaborate. “There are things that we can do and have done.”<snip>Shotwell told reporters she led efforts to get Pentagon funding for Starlink services in Ukraine. “I was the one that asked the Pentagon to fund this. It was not an Elon thing,” she said. “We stopped interacting with the Pentagon on the existing capability.”
By James FitzGeraldBBC NewsSpaceX has limited Ukraine's ability to use its satellite internet service for military purposes - after reports that Kyiv has used it to control drones.Early in the war, Ukraine was given thousands of SpaceX Starlink dishes - which connect to satellites and help people stay connected to the internet.But it is also said to have used the tech to target Russian positions - breaking policies set out by SpaceX.A Ukrainian official said companies had to choose which "side" they were on.They could join Ukraine and "the right to freedom", or pick Russia and "its 'right' to kill and seize territories", tweeted presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak.At an event in Washington DC on Wednesday, SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell explained that Starlink technology was "never meant to be weaponised".She made reference to Ukraine's alleged use of Starlink to control drones, and stressed that the equipment had been provided for humanitarian use....
No, Elon Musk did not ban its use by the Ukrainian military. The screenshot being pulled around the web where Starlink support refuses to transfer the account for military use is a TYPICAL PICTURE THIS ENTIRE YEAR, starting from March-2022, when the terminals just started shipping.
Starlink Limits Ukraine’s Maritime Drones At Time Of New Russian Threat
Musk’s Starlink satellites accelerating development of drone warfare
Currently, Starlink antennas are too large and too heavy for small drones. However, there has been momentum from the defense industry to experiment. In November, Canadian company RDARS, announced that it had successfully integrated Starlink equipment to its Eagle Nest ground station, which was able to transmit data to the firm’s Eagle Eye military drone in-flight.
You’re smart enough not to swallow media & other propaganda bs.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 WW3.
Thank you Scott 🙏🏼 But Elon continues to actively help Ukraine. To be perfectly clear, SpaceX didn't ban the use of Starlink by the military.
SpaceX commercial terminals, like other commercial products, are meant for private use, not military, but we have not exercised our right to turn them off.We’re trying hard to do the right thing, where the “right thing” is an extremely difficult moral question.
Mykhailo Fedorov, the Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, has commented on the information that the SpaceX company has allegedly limited the Starlink Internet access for Ukraine, which it uses to control drones. The minister stated that as of now there are no problems with the Starlink terminals in Ukraine.Source: Fedorov in a commentary to Ukrainska PravdaQuote: "Indeed, changes were made to geofencing a few months ago, but as of now, all the Starlink terminals in Ukraine work properly. Today we received the first few thousand of Starlinks as part of a 10,000 terminal batch from the German government."
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Feb. 18 in an interview with NBC News that the U.S. government had conversations with Elon Musk about the use of his company SpaceX's Starlink satellite internet in Ukraine, Reuters reported. In response to a question during an interview on NBC News' "Meet the Press with Chuck Todd" that will air on Feb. 19 whether the U.S. had asked Must not to restrict Starlink's use in Ukraine, Blinken said: "Well, I can't share any conversations we've had other than to say we've had conversations."
Another view of a camouflaged dishy at the roadside.
"The excellent performance of 'Starlink' satellites in this Russian-Ukrainian conflict will certainly prompt the U.S. and Western countries to use 'Starlink' extensively" in possible hostilities in Asia, said a September article co-written by researchers at the Army Engineering University of the PLA.The authors deemed it "urgent" for China - which aims to develop its own similar satellite network – to find ways to shoot down or disable Starlink. SpaceX did not respond to a request for comment.
https://www.reuters.com/world/studying-ukraine-war-chinas-military-minds-fret-over-us-missiles-starlink-2023-03-08/Quote from: Reuters"The excellent performance of 'Starlink' satellites in this Russian-Ukrainian conflict will certainly prompt the U.S. and Western countries to use 'Starlink' extensively" in possible hostilities in Asia, said a September article co-written by researchers at the Army Engineering University of the PLA.The authors deemed it "urgent" for China - which aims to develop its own similar satellite network – to find ways to shoot down or disable Starlink. SpaceX did not respond to a request for comment.
SpaceX’s decision to limit Ukrainian troops’ use of the company’s satellite internet is a cautionary tale for the U.S. military [...]There has to be clear guidelines laid out upfront when the military uses commercial services during war, Dickinson said. [...]Kelly said he was “personally disappointed to see discontinuation of full services at such a critical time for Ukraine’s self defense.”[...]"They are actually looking at how we make sure during times of conflict that if we’re relying on commercial companies for certain services, that they’ll be available to us."
Units scramble for solutions as Russia learns to locate and jam the vital comsat links....One Ukrainian drone operator with the call sign of “Professor” also reported prolonged jamming that prevented his team from using his Starlink unit. Professor said the jamming began two to three months ago, and that its intensity varied from place to place. “In one place everything’s fine, and in another—it doesn’t work,” Professor said. At times the jamming would continue all day. “It’s really powerful,” Professor said. Sometimes if there is no signal for the Starlink, the drone operator Professor tries a novel solution: he places it in a hole. The signal then returns, although only sometimes. ...Fortunately for Ukraine, GPS jammer signals are low power. This means that dirt or concrete can block the jammer signal. As long as a Starlink device has a barrier between it and the Russian jamming signal, it can continue to function, according to Clark. A drone pilot with the call sign of Morgenshtern says he’s seen similar problems with other gear that uses GPS. “I think they introduced some more advanced equipment, or just their number increased,” he said....One drone unit commander near the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut said his problems were unrelated to GPS jamming. Sometime in January, the commander said, Starlink uplink had been degraded to the point that his units often couldn’t make audio calls. Instead, the device could only send and receive text messages. The Starlink terminal also took longer to find satellites. Clark said these problems were likely due to advanced jamming systems that attack the uplink of information to a satellite. The Russian military typically keeps these systems in reserve to defend Russian territory itself. They are theoretically vulnerable to Ukrainian strikes as they must be deployed within dozens of kilometers from their target and are not highly mobile. ...It isn’t all bad news for Ukraine, though. Two officers responsible for drone operations reported no issues with jamming. Similarly, neither Professor nor Morgenshtern said they were currently seeing Starlink jamming. It’s unclear why jamming would have subsided for these units. Russian forces could be rotating jamming operations across the front, focusing on high-priority areas. Ukraine may also be targeting Russian electronic-warfare units. Ukraine regularly shoots down Russia’s Orlan drones, for example, which can carry electronic-warfare payloads.
Photos of a Ukrainian UAV used to drop 82mm mortar rounds equipped with a Starlink terminal captured by Russian forces.
Using Starlink Paints a Target on Ukrainian TroopsQuote....One drone unit commander near the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut said his problems were unrelated to GPS jamming. Sometime in January, the commander said, Starlink uplink had been degraded to the point that his units often couldn’t make audio calls. Instead, the device could only send and receive text messages. The Starlink terminal also took longer to find satellites. Clark said these problems were likely due to advanced jamming systems that attack the uplink of information to a satellite. The Russian military typically keeps these systems in reserve to defend Russian territory itself. They are theoretically vulnerable to Ukrainian strikes as they must be deployed within dozens of kilometers from their target and are not highly mobile. ----
....One drone unit commander near the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut said his problems were unrelated to GPS jamming. Sometime in January, the commander said, Starlink uplink had been degraded to the point that his units often couldn’t make audio calls. Instead, the device could only send and receive text messages. The Starlink terminal also took longer to find satellites. Clark said these problems were likely due to advanced jamming systems that attack the uplink of information to a satellite. The Russian military typically keeps these systems in reserve to defend Russian territory itself. They are theoretically vulnerable to Ukrainian strikes as they must be deployed within dozens of kilometers from their target and are not highly mobile. ----
Hendrickx, a Belgium-based amateur researcher whose uncovering of Russian procurement and court documents has yielded most of the limited public information available about the Tobol program, initially concluded that the system was defensive in nature, according to his 2020 analysis published by the Space Review. But further analysis, underpinned by court documents describing “specialized complexes for the electronic attack of space assets,” led to fresh revelations and he predicted last year that Tobol can be used offensively.
Russia unveils secretive weapon to target SpaceX’s Starlink in UkraineExtensively refers to work done by NSF member B. Hendrickx, see Russian space-related electronic warfare projectsQuoteHendrickx, a Belgium-based amateur researcher whose uncovering of Russian procurement and court documents has yielded most of the limited public information available about the Tobol program, initially concluded that the system was defensive in nature, according to his 2020 analysis published by the Space Review. But further analysis, underpinned by court documents describing “specialized complexes for the electronic attack of space assets,” led to fresh revelations and he predicted last year that Tobol can be used offensively.
SpaceX's Starlink has a Pentagon contract for internet service in Ukraine, the DoD said in a statement today. But the value, award date, other details are unclear.
Supposedly a StarLink dishy captured by Russian forces...
Shotwell, president of SpaceX, also felt strongly that the company should stop subsidizing the Ukrainian military operation. Providing humanitarian help was fine, but private companies should not be financing a foreign country’s war. That should be left to the government, which is why the United States has a foreign military sales program that puts a layer of protection between private companies and foreign governments. Other companies, including big and profitable defense contractors, were charging billions to supply weapons to Ukraine, so it seemed unfair that Starlink, which was not yet profitable, should do it for free.“We initially gave the Ukrainians free service for humanitarian and defense purposes, such as keeping up their hospitals and banking systems,” she says. “But then they started putting them on f---ing drones trying to blow up Russian ships. I’m happy to donate services for ambulances and hospitals and mothers. That’s what companies and people should do. But it’s wrong to pay for military drone strikes.”
In the end, with Shotwell’s help, SpaceX made arrangements with various government agencies to pay for increased Starlink service in Ukraine, with the military and CIA working out the terms of service. More than 100,000 new satellite dishes were sent to Ukraine at the beginning of 2023. In addition, Starlink launched a companion service called Starshield, which was specifically designed for military use. SpaceX licensed Starshield satellites and services to the U.S. military and other agencies, allowing the government to determine how they could and should be used in Ukraine and elsewhere.
The source was CNN referencing Walter Isaacson's biography.Thank you for clarifying the facts, and glad to see Starlink was not activated in such a contentious territory.
There was an emergency request from government authorities to activate Starlink all the way to Sevastopol.The obvious intent being to sink most of the Russian fleet at anchor.If I had agreed to their request, then SpaceX would be explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation.
TWZ: There was the discussion over Walter Isaacson’s book excerpt and whether Musk shut off Starlink to prevent a Ukrainian attack on Sevastopol last year, or whether as he claimed he denied a request to provide it.KB: Look, [Starlink] is a private property of a private person. Yes we really very widely use his products and services. The whole of the line of contact talks to each other to some extent using his products and services. The only thing I can say here is that without those services and products it would be a catastrophe. But it is true that he did turn off his products and services over Crimea before. But there's another side to that truth. Everybody's been aware of that.TWZ: So he did turn it off?KB: This specific case everybody's referring to, there was a shutdown of the coverage over Crimea, but it wasn't at that specific moment. That shutdown was for a month. There might have been some specific cases I'm not aware of. But I'm totally sure that throughout the whole first period of the war, there was no coverage at all.TWZ: But did he ever put it on and then shut it off?KB: There have been no problems since it's been turned on over Crimea.
Article 52(2) of Additional Protocol I (API), which reflects customary international law, sets forth the definition of a military objective. To qualify as such, Starlink must by its nature, location, purpose, or use make an effective contribution to (Ukraine’s) military action and its total or partial destruction, capture, or neutralization, in the circumstances ruling at the time, must offer (Russia) a definite military advantage.In the Russia-Ukraine war context, these requirements are met: Starlink is being used to provide Ukrainian military forces with high-speed internet and communication, which effectively contributes to their military operations. For example, it has enabled interception of Russian battlefield communications, facilitated Ukrainian C2 and information operations, and assisted a Ukrainian drone unit to destroy Russian tanks. One Ukrainian soldier described Starlink as having changed the war in Ukraine’s favor. Denying Ukraine this capability would undoubtedly offer Russia a definite military advantage.
Starlink will support connectivity to internationally recognized aid organizations in Gaza. [ComStar]
Your Starlink is connected in a region where Starlink service is restricted. We have been instructed by the Lebanese government to disable service until they approve your use. In compliance with this directive, your Starlink service will be disabled today [Nov 7th]. If you would like Starlink to submit your account to the Lebanese government for approval to reinstate service, please provide the following information:1. A copy of the picture ID of the local user2. The name of the local user3. A local service address where the Starlink services and kit will be used4. Phone number local user5. Email of local user6. The name and website of the entity or organization using Starlink, if applicableIn some instances, we may need to follow up with additional questions. Please note that your information may be provided to third-parties for verification and approval, such as the local telecommunication authorities.
“In 30 years of consolidation of the defense industry, there have only been three companies that have broken through at the department with a big splash. Elon Musk with @SpaceX, and by extension #Starlink, @PalantirTech with Peter Thiel, and @anduriltech with @PalmerLuckey. It should not take an iconoclastic billionaire willing to break China at the Pentagon. The department should be a lot more open to commercial off-the-shelf solutions.”
So, it appears one of Ukraines latest generation naval drones has washed ashore. They are widely believed to be Starlink powered.
Year of @Starlink in #Ukraine. Real stories from the community.- More than 10000 terminals repaired (all services)- Many modifications and adaptations have been developed (auto, power, GPS).- Unique training materials and lectures.- Unique auxiliary software was created.
The U.S. satellite Internet system "Starlink" technology that covers the world continues to make breakthroughs, causing renewed anxiety in the Chinese military and academic circles. Chinese state-owned enterprises will launch thousands of low-orbit satellites starting this year to create a Chinese version of the satellite Internet "State Grid" to compete with it. However, experts believe that in terms of rocket launch technology, the gap between China and the US commercial satellite launch giant SpaceX is still widening.
In 2022, a woman in Iran died after being detained by the "moral police", triggering large-scale protests across the country . Musk decided at that time to strengthen the coverage of "Starlink" in Iran to help people break through the Iranian authorities' Internet blockade and censorship and use online social media.Experts say that these international events have made China realize the role of "Starlink" in free network communications and the urgency of building a "Made in China" satellite Internet.Namrata Goswami, a scholar of space policy and geopolitics, told VOA: "China has concluded through observations last year that in the event of an escalation of the conflict in Taiwan, something similar to Starlink Once technology intervenes, the strategic support force of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, also known as China's space force, must deal with it very seriously."
However, the newly launched Direct to Cell function of "Starlink" has also caused concerns among Chinese officials. On January 3 this year, SpaceX successfully launched 21 "Starlink" satellites, including 6 with direct connection to mobile phones; smartphone users on the ground (4G or above) can connect to the broadband network without purchasing additional equipment. SpaceX calls this type of "Starlink" satellite a "cell phone tower in space."The "China National Defense News" article stated that after this business achieves large-scale application in the future, the "Starlink" system will be connected to a large number of communication devices to achieve seamless global communications. Whether this feature will be open to Chinese users is still unknown.However, Rogier Creemers, assistant professor of Modern China Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands and co-founder of the “DigiChina” project at Stanford University’s Cyber Policy Center, told VOA: “(The Chinese government) Wants to block any network connections it doesn't control."
Under the PLEO indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract, space companies will be able to bid on about $900 million worth of military task orders over the next five years. “Once we make a determination of a customer’s needs, we try to help connect them to capability as soon as possible,” said Hopper.
Starlink service is now highly sought after by many parts of the DoD and U.S. armed forces. Of the $70 million task order awarded to SpaceX, “we’ve obligated approximately $25 million in funds sourced from about 50 different customers” across the DoD, Hopper added. “We’re seeing a diverse demand for that vehicle, and we’ve been modifying that particular task order seemingly every couple of weeks.”
Hopper noted that the $70 million task order is not a complete reflection of DoD’s entire use of Starlink, as some organizations procure services under other contracts not managed by CSCO.
She said the current contract ceiling of $900 million could be raised if needed. “We are working with DISA on perhaps adjusting that due to demand.”
https://www.cnn.com/2024/02/05/europe/ukraine-drone-jet-skis-russian-warship-intl/index.htmlA Ukrainian pilot outlines how drones powered by jet skis sunk a Russian warship‘Jeweler’s work’The impact of the drones is impressive but it’s delicate work, said the pilot.“The main thing is to feel the drone,” he told CNN. “If you squeeze it a little, you can lose control of the drone. I would say it’s like jeweler’s work.Controlled from afar via a Starlink connection, the drones can also be pre-programmed for the long journeys across the Black Sea.A pilot is constantly monitoring the drone’s passage, he said, with the final run into the targets often controlled manually.
A number of false news reports claim that SpaceX is selling Starlink terminals to Russia. This is categorically false. To the best of our knowledge, no Starlinks have been sold directly or indirectly to Russia.
I need to comment on this.🇷🇺 are importing Starlink terminals from 3rd countries with huge overprice (I mean 5k-6k USD per Dishy). They are paying for the service via front persons and EU cards. Nothing special.Starlink is not working in 🇷🇺, only on 🇺🇦 land (including occupied).
⚡️The 🇺🇦Ukrainian military reports that Starlink has begun to be delivered en masse to the 🇷🇺Russian military through Dubai, the accounts are activated and work in the occupied territories.
Starlink is currently being used in Sudan by a Paramilitary group amid a nationwide internet blackout.
A group of U.S. lawmakers are calling on Elon Musk to make SpaceX’s Starshield military-specific satellite communications network available to American defense forces in Taiwan after years of refusing to do business in the country.In a letter to Musk obtained by Forbes, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) reminded the billionaire of SpaceX’s contractual obligation to provide the U.S. Department of Defense with “global access” to its satellite internet services. He noted that the Pentagon is committing “tens of millions of dollars” over the next year to StarShield, which uses low-Earth orbit satellites to provide communications and observational imagery to the military. “I understand that SpaceX is possibly withholding broadband internet services in and around Taiwan — possibly in breach of SpaceX’s contractual obligations with the U.S. government,” Gallagher, who is chair of the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, wrote in the letter dated February 24.
But the discussions were interrupted in the last quarter of 2023 when it became clear that lawmakers in the Communist-ruled country would not soften foreign ownership limits for SpaceX, the industry source told Reuters.The suspension of talks led to the interruption starting in November of Starlink's previously unreported pilot services for Vietnam's coast guard, which used the satellites to guide drones in the South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, a second Vietnamese official said.
The industry source said SpaceX had also been in discussions with Vietnam about providing technology services for military outposts.