A Wednesday report from the Pentagon defense agency reveals that the first Pentagon contract for Starshield was awarded to SpaceX. Read more…
The Pentagon has granted Elon Musk’s SpaceX its inaugural confirmed contract for the Starshield network, a military-specific version of the Starlink satellite internet system of the company, according to the defense agency’s announcement on Wednesday.
A spokesperson from the Space Force verified that SpaceX received a one-year contract for Starshield on September 1, with a maximum value of $70 million. This award was part of a program administered by the Space Force’s commercial satellite communications office and included 18 other companies.
Space Force spokesperson Ann Stefanek explained,
“The SpaceX contract provides for Starshield end-to-end service (via the Starlink constellation), user terminals, ancillary equipment, network management, and other related services.”
Although SpaceX has not yet responded to the comments of CNBC about the Starshield contract.
Starshield, introduced by SpaceX last year, represents a new business endeavor. The Pentagon has been a significant customer of SpaceX’s rocket launches and has expressed increasing interest in its Starlink satellite internet.
Although SpaceX has provided limited information about the extent and capabilities of Starshield, it positions the service as a dedicated offering for national security with distinctive capabilities compared to its Starlink consumer and enterprise network.
SpaceX’s contract for Starshield follows its victory in June when it secured a Pentagon contract to procure an unspecified quantity of Starlink ground terminals for use in Ukraine.
The initial phase of the Starshield contract mandates that SpaceX receive $15 million by September 30. This funding is intended to support 54 military “mission partners” across various branches of the Department of Defense, as per the spokesperson’s statement.
The contract was first reported by Bloomberg on Thursday.
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