Starlink to provide the US Air Force with Internet in Europe and Africa

SpaceX has signed a contract to provide the US Air Force with satellite Internet in Europe and Africa. One of the most important reasons for choosing this operator was its opportunity to work in Ukraine.

The US Air Force has signed a contract with Starlink. Source:

US Air Force signed a contract with SpaceX

The US Air Force has announced the signing of a contract with SpaceX to provide Internet services using Starlink satellites. The contract value is USD 1.9 million. It provides both the provision of equipment in the form of terminals and the provision of software access to them from mobile devices.

The cost of services, according to which the contract price is determined, is not disclosed. But it is known that it will be used by the Air Force command in Europe and Africa. According to the military, the contract was concluded with one company, because only Starlink met all the requirements put forward during the competition.

What requirements did the Air Force have for the Internet?

According to representatives of the Air Force, they considered not only the low-orbit Internet, the services of which are provided by Starlink. Their attention was attracted by satellites operating in medium and geostationary orbits. It is expected that in the near future, Amazon Kuiper, OneWeb and Telesat will be supplied with communication from them.

At the same time, the military fundamentally considered only large groups, since they can provide stability in the face of hacker attacks and the use of anti-satellite weapons. And it is by this parameter that Starlink easily wins over all its competitors. It has 2287 spacecraft in orbit.

In addition, one of the most important selection criteria was Ukraine, which continues to fight off Russia’s attack. The US Air Force is faced with an ever-growing volume of traffic that is transmitted in the face of active opposition from the enemy. And the only company that demonstrated the ability to perform tasks in this situation was SpaceX.

Why not OneWeb

The Air Force Research Laboratory and the Space Force Space Systems Command conducted a program called Global Lightning to test the capabilities of commercial space Internet providers. It showed that the next best option after SpaceX could be OneWeb.

But this network has one significant drawback. They can provide their services only from November of this year and only north of the 50th parallel. Most of the area of responsibility of the European Command is located south of this line. In this case, none of the African bases will receive Internet at all.

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