The company that provided thousands of Starlink access terminals for Ukraine soon after the invasion of the Russian Federation started, said that the use of this service in military drones violates the terms of the agreement between SpaceX and the Ukrainian government.
SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell has commented yesterday that the Starlink technology was “never meant to be weaponised”, and that it was intended for humanitarian purposes. The president also elaborated that the use of Starlink for military communications was an acceptable scenario, except for offensive purposes.
The company does not disclose the details of what steps have been taken to limit Starlink’s functionality in the territory of Ukraine.
Source link Ukraine is facing a major challenge in their proliferation of drone technology as news has broken that their access to Starlink – Elon Musk’s internet providing system – will be limited. This is due to the decision of the United States to impose sanctions on the country, limiting its access to the technology.
Starlink is a satellite-based internet providing system developed bySpaceX, a company owned by tech mogul Elon Musk. It is highly advanced technology that has seen significant success, but its availability is largely limited due to the US sanctions. This has seen Ukraine deprived of the opportunity to use the technology in its own drone systems.
The particular sanctions in question are the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI). First enacted in 2014, the USAI sought to limit Russia’s influence among the people of Ukraine by cutting off access to vital resources and technologies. Unfortunately, this has had the unintended effect of also limiting Ukraine’s access to Starlink.
It is a shame that Ukraine’s access to Starlink is being limited as a result of the USAI sanctions. The technology could have had a profound impact on the way Ukraine’s drone technology is used. With access to reliable internet, drones can be deployed much more effectively, allowing for a variety of use cases such as surveillance, search and rescue, and more.
Fortunately, Ukraine is still able to access other means of internet providing services, such as satellite internet via companies such as HughesNet and Viasat. These are not as reliable as Starlink and will be more expensive for Ukraine to acquire, but they still provide some level of access.
Ultimately, Ukraine’s access to Starlink is being cut off as a result of US sanctions and this is something that they are likely to bear the brunt of. With access to satellite-based internet dramatically limited, Ukraine will have to rely on other services to keep their drones operational.