Musk stops funding his Starlink satellite internet network, the Pentagon called for help

Elon Musk avait proposé son réseau Starlink aux forces ukrainiennes dès les premiers moments de l

Philanthropy has limits, even in times of war. The American company SpaceX says it no longer has the means to pay for the deployment of its Starlink internet network in Ukraine. So said his boss Elon Musk on Friday. A way of asking the American government to take over this precious technological aid for the Ukrainians and their army.

The entrepreneur estimated that his company SpaceX “(could) not continue to finance the existing system indefinitely and send thousands of additional terminals (…). This is not reasonnable “. CNN claims that SpaceX sent a similar letter to the Pentagon warning it of its difficulties in funding this aid.

Elon Musk multiplies the blows of brilliance to promote Starlink

25,000 Starlink terminals provided by SpaceX

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion on February 24, SpaceX has provided 25,000 terminals to the Ukrainian authorities. These devices make it possible to ensure an Internet connection from any point in the country, including the most isolated and most devastated by the fighting, thanks to a constellation of satellites which form the Starlink network.

According to Elon Musk, who founded SpaceX (in addition to the manufacturer Tesla or the PayPal payment service), supplying Ukraine with Stralink terminals already represents a cost of around $80 million to society, and the slate is expected to rise to $100 million by the end of the year.

At the same time, CNN affirms that SpaceX sent a letter to the Pentagon to warn it of its difficulties in financing its aid, while asking it to take over. For an overall cost that should peak at 400 million dollars over the coming year.

Strategic aid for the Ukrainian army and society

The Starlink network helps maintain internet coverage in areas of Ukraine hit by the Russian military. By June, around 15% of Ukraine’s existing internet infrastructure had already been destroyed or damaged, authorities said. While Ukrainian telecommunications infrastructure has suffered strikes and cyberattacks, Starlink equipment is a major asset in maintaining military and civilian communications in a ravaged country.

According to Elon Musk, only one “low percentage” Starlink terminals, destined for Ukraine, have been taken over by the American authorities. For its part, the American Agency for International Development (USAID) declared in April that it had purchased 1,330 terminals from SpaceX to deliver them to Ukraine. It remains to be seen whether the Pentagon will take over the financing of Starlink in Ukraine. Washington grants colossal material support to the Ukrainian army. $27.6 billion worth of equipment has already been provided to Ukrainian forces, including war-changing weapons like Himars long-range missile launchers.

(With AFP)