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Elon Musk Says Starlink Yet to Receive US Government Funding for Services in Ukraine




By Reuters | Updated: 19 October 2022

Elon Musk said on Tuesday SpaceX’s Starlink services have not received any funding from the US Department of Defense, a day after reports said The Pentagon is considering paying for Starlink satellite network in war-torn Ukraine. SpaceX is losing approximately $20 million (roughly Rs. 165 crore) a month from unpaid service and costs related to security measures for cyberwar defense, but “we’ll keep doing it (sigh)”, Musk tweeted.

“No money from DoD, but several other countries, orgs & individuals are paying for ~11k/25k terminals,” Musk said. The world’s richest person and chief executive of Tesla recently said SpaceX spends nearly $20 million (roughly Rs. 165 crore) a month for maintaining satellite services in Ukraine and that the company has spent about $80 million (roughly Rs. 660 crore) to enable and support Starlink there.

The Pentagon is considering paying for the service to Ukraine, Politico reported on Monday, citing two US officials involved in the discussions.

“To be precise, 25,300 terminals were sent to Ukraine, but, at present, only 10,630 are paying for service,” Musk tweeted on Monday.

On Saturday, Musk said his rocket company SpaceX would continue to fund its Starlink internet service in Ukraine, citing the need for “good deeds,” a day after he said it could no longer afford to do so. The Tesla CEO said on Friday that SpaceX could not indefinitely fund Starlink in Ukraine.

Starlink has helped Ukraine’s civilians and military stay online during the war, with Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov previously stating that Starlink’s services helped restore energy and communications infrastructure in critical areas.

© Thomson Reuters 2022