Tech

Elon Musk prevents Ukraine from using Starlink to guide its combat drones

The SpaceX president revealed that his company has taken active steps to prevent Ukrainian forces from using Starlink satellite technology with Ukrainian drones that are a key part of their fight against Russia.

Starlink Satellites V2
Credits: Starlink

The president of SpaceX said that Ukraine used Starlink services provided to the country for offensive purposes in its war against Russia, an app that the company did not intend to support when it activated the service in the country. As a reminder, Elon Musk had saved the country from a general blackout by providing antennas to Ukrainians, and in particular to the local government.

However, as expected, the latter would quickly hijacked the satellite network for military use, and more specifically to guide its drones. Starlink was not designed to be used in this way, SpaceX finally cut short this practice. The company originally wanted its antennas to be used for ” keep banks running, hospitals, families connected “, according to the president, and this is what the company will continue to monitor.

Ukraine was hijacking Starlink for military use

Starlink’s use with drones was beyond the scope of a deal SpaceX has with the Ukrainian government “Said Shotwell, the president of SpaceX. ” We are really happy to have been able to provide connectivity to Ukraine and to help it in its fight for freedom. It was never intended to be used for military purposes. However, the Ukrainians used it in a way that was unintentional and not part of any agreement “, she clarified.

SpaceX knows very well that ” the military uses antennas for communications, and that’s okay Shotwell reportedly said. “ But our intention was never for them to use it offensively. “. Moreover, we know that this network provided by Elon Musk is a huge problem for the Russian militaryand it has therefore become a target of choice.

Shotwell therefore announced that SpaceX has since taken steps to limit the use of Starlink in offensive military operations. ” There are things we can do to limit their ability to do so. “, did she say, declining to give further details. So it’s unclear how SpaceX went about it, but the company can presumably know how its terminals are used, and can block certain remote practices.

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