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.