SpaceX has restricted Ukraine's ability to use the Starlink drone service

SpaceX has restricted Ukraine's ability to use the Starlink drone service

SpaceX limited Ukraine's ability to use Starlink drone service

Illustrative photo – Ukrainian soldier with a drone on the border with Belarus in a photo taken on February 1, 2023.

Kyiv/Washington – Billionaire Elon Musk's US company SpaceX has taken steps to prevent the Ukrainian military from using the Starlink satellite internet service to control drones. According to Reuters, the president of the company, Gwynne Shotwell, said this on Wednesday. According to her, the Starlink system was never meant to be used as a weapon. Ukraine has been defending itself against Russian military aggression for almost a year.

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SpaceX limited Ukraine's ability to use Starlink drone service

SpaceX limited Ukraine's ability to use Starlink drone service

SpaceX limited Ukraine's ability to use Starlink drone service

SpaceX limited Ukraine's ability to use Starlink drone service

“We know the (Ukrainian) military is using them to communicate, and that's fine,” Shotwell told reporters. “But it was never our intention that they be used for offensive purposes,” she noted.

According to her, the use of Starlink for work with unmanned aircraft goes beyond the scope of the contract that SpaceX concluded with the Ukrainian government. The agreement was for humanitarian purposes, such as providing broadband internet to hospitals, banks and families affected by the Russian invasion, the head of the company said. for ordinary citizens affected by outages of classic communication networks, but also as important for the Ukrainian army's ability to act. Starlink terminals were delivered to Ukraine by SpaceX, and the governments of some Western countries paid for additional deliveries of these devices to the country, Reuters reported.

Since the beginning of Russian military aggression, Ukraine has effectively used unmanned aerial vehicles – on the one hand, to detect enemy positions, aim fire and also for dropping bombs. “There are things we can do to limit their ability to do that,” Shotwell said, referring to Starlink's use for drones. She did not provide details.

She said Russia tried to jam Starlink signals in the region, to which SpaceX responded by improving the service's software. At the end of last year, there were Starlink service outages in Ukraine, which SpaceX did not explain.