Japan’s military may adopt Musk’s Starlink satellite service

Japan’s military is testing Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite internet service with the aim of adopting the technology in the next fiscal year, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Sunday, citing unnamed government sources.

The Department of Defense already has access to communications satellites in geostationary orbit, but the use of Starlink technology, operated by Musk’s SpaceX, will add a constellation of satellites in low orbit, Yomiuri said. Countries around the world are seeking to build resilience against the risk of disrupting communications or satellite attacks in the event of a conflict.

Japan’s Self-Defense Force has been testing Starlink since March with the system installed at about 10 locations in the system, the newspaper said. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense could not immediately be reached for comment for this story outside of office hours.

Ukraine is deploying Starlink technology on the battlefield and Russia is trying to prevent its use in the region. Musk said in October that SpaceX could not afford to use Starlink in Ukraine indefinitely.

The U.S. Department of Defense said this month it has approved Starlink services there.

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