Thursday, May 30, 2024
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SpaceX Secures Pentagon’s First Starshield Contract

SpaceX, the aerospace company founded by Elon Musk, has been awarded its first confirmed contract by the Pentagon for its Starshield network. Starshield is a military-specific version of SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet system. The contract, worth up to $70 million, was awarded on September 1. It includes end-to-end service, user terminals, ancillary equipment, network management, and other related services. The initial phase of the contract requires SpaceX to provide services to 54 military “mission partners” across different branches of the Department of Defense.

Starshield was introduced by SpaceX as a new business line last year, and the Pentagon has shown increasing interest in its capabilities. However, few details about the intended scope and capabilities of Starshield have been disclosed. SpaceX markets the service as an “end-to-end,” dedicated offering for national security, separate from its existing Starlink consumer and enterprise network. This contract for Starshield follows SpaceX’s June win of a Pentagon contract to supply Starlink ground terminals for use in Ukraine. The initial phase of the Starshield contract includes an obligation of $15 million to SpaceX by the end of September to support the military mission partners.

Bloomberg first reported this Pentagon contract, highlighting the deepening ties between Elon Musk’s SpaceX and the US military. The contract signifies a significant milestone for SpaceX, as it expands its presence further into the defense sector. With increasing interest from the Pentagon in its satellite internet technology, SpaceX continues to strengthen its reputation and secure high-value contracts. The contract also demonstrates the potential of Starshield to provide secure and reliable communication services for military purposes, further solidifying its position as a critical component of national security infrastructure.

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