SpaceX: Due to measures, the Ukraine army cannot use Starlink for drones

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SpaceX says it has taken steps to prevent Ukrainian armed forces from using the Starlink satellite network for drone deployment. According to the company, it was never intended to use the satellites for offensive purposes.

Speaking at a Federal Aviation Administration press conference, Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s chief operating officer, said the company is pleased to help Ukraine’s fight for freedom, but that the Starlink deployment “was never intended to be armed’. According to her, the Ukrainians have deployed the network in ways that were not intended and are not part of the agreement, writes Reuters.

In doing so, Shotwell referred to reports that the armed forces have used the service to monitor drones. She states that there are “things we can do to limit this capacity” and that we have done so. However, she declined to answer questions about what exact measures SpaceX has taken.

SpaceX wants Starlink to be used for communication purposes only. To this end, the company has supplied the necessary Starlink terminals to Ukraine, partly funded by SpaceX and partly by the US and France. According to the Ukrainian armed forces, the presence of the Starlink service is essential for military communications.

In May last year said SpaceX boss Elon Musk says his company has managed to stop Russian attempts to disrupt and hack satellite connections, but that efforts to do so are being stepped up from Russia. The Starlink network experienced several outages at the end of last year, although SpaceX has not provided details. A question was raised as to whether these disruptions were related to SpaceX’s efforts to counter the offensive use of Starlink, but Shotwell declined to comment.

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