The US government reportedly paid to send Starlink terminals to Ukraine

The US government reportedly paid to send Starlink terminals to Ukraine

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Despite SpaceX implying that the US didn’t springiness wealth to nonstop Starlink terminals to Ukraine successful March, a report from The Washington Post reveals that the authorities really paid millions of dollars for instrumentality and transportation. The study recovered that the US Agency for International Development, oregon USAID, paid $1,500 apiece for 1,333 terminals, adding up to astir $2 million. USAID disclosed the fig of terminals it bought from the institution successful a press release from aboriginal April that has since been altered to region mentions of the purchase.

According to space newsman Joey Roulette, SpaceX donated 3,667 terminals to Ukraine, oregon astir $10 cardinal worth, aft besides factoring successful the 3 months of information it provided with the terminals. However, it’s imaginable this donation was partially subsidized by USAID’s $1,500-a-unit purchase. The Washington Post says it’s unclear whether Ukraine received modular terminals, which SpaceX presently charges $600 for, oregon the precocious terminals, which were announced successful February and outgo $2,500.

Looks similar USAID edited their property merchandise and deleted the worth of SpaceX's donation, arsenic good arsenic the fig of terminals the bureau said SpaceX provided connected its ain dime. Here's the erstwhile mentation vs. existent version:

— Joey Roulette (@joroulette) April 6, 2022

If USAID purchased regular terminals, it paid $900 implicit retail outgo per portion (adding up to astir $1.2 million) — notably, a caller study said that the terminals outgo SpaceX astir $1,000 to build. It is imaginable that USAID was besides paying for net service, which costs $110 a period for Starlink’s modular program and $500 a period for its premium program disposable with the much costly terminals.

The Washington Post besides reports that USAID agreed to wage much than $800,000 for proscription of the 5,000 terminals that were sent to Ukraine done what the bureau present calls a “public-private partnership.”

In February, Ukraine’s vice premier curate posted images of a motortruck filled with what appeared to beryllium modular Starlink terminals, days aft helium tweeted astatine SpaceX CEO Elon Musk asking for assistance. It’s unclear whether these terminals were sent solely by SpaceX, though The Washington Post’s study does enactment that USAID had antecedently bought 175 Starlink terminals arsenic portion of a abstracted agreement.

It does look similar SpaceX did marque a important charitable donation to Ukraine. USAID told the Post successful a connection that the “delivery of Starlink terminals were made imaginable by a scope of stakeholders, whose combined contributions valued implicit $15 million,” and its archetypal property merchandise said that SpaceX donated $10 cardinal worthy of instrumentality successful service. But, as with galore different SpaceX projects, the institution does look to person gotten a important magnitude of nationalist backing for the project.