Elon Musk Satellite Internet Starlink is already helping Ukrainian artillery. Now the Bundeswehr is also to test it.
Bundeswehr should test Elon Musk’s Starlink
© Bundeswehr/Marcus Schaller
The Ukrainian army is already using Elon Musk’s satellite-based Internet access system Starlink from Space X. Among other things, in combination with the GIS Arta app to coordinate its artillery. This video from the Austrian Armed Forces outlines how the Ukrainian army works:
Now the German Bundeswehr is also to test Starlink from Space X. This is reported by the IT news site Golem. The Starlink test is to be part of a trial of alternatives for soldiers’ private satellite communications. So it is not about using the Internet connection for military purposes – a crucial difference to Ukraine. Instead, it is probably about how the soldiers can use the Internet in their free time in the theater of operations. The Bundeswehr Cyber Innovation Hub (CIHBw) is to lead the tests and soldiers are to be involved as users.
Sven Weizenegger, Head of the Cyber Innovation Hub of the German Armed Forces, sent this to Elon Musk via Twitter. Military secrecy is generally imagined differently…
hey @elonmusk, Germany is calling. Let’s try Starlink for the german armed forces. Waiting for your call. Let’s make this happen.
— Sven Weizenegger (@svenweizenegger) May 19, 2022
The tests are intended to test Starlink and other comparable solutions for communication in “areas and locations without existing mobile or landline connections”. Soldiers should then use this to communicate. So far, the Bundeswehr has used rented (military) satellite communication for this purpose, which is expensive and complex.
Starlink proved itself during flood disaster
Starlink was also used during the flood disaster in Rhineland-Palatinate in 2021. Elon Musk’s Starlink was used in Rhineland-Palatinate to provide internet access to flood victims. This was important because the flooding in parts of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia had destroyed both landline cables and distribution boxes and mobile phone transmitters. In addition, the power supply was interrupted at many locations, meaning that the corresponding Internet infrastructure could not be operated.
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