- Elon Musk said sending Starlink systems to Ukraine has been costly for SpaceX.
- The CEO said it already cost $80 million and will reach over $100 million by end of the year.
- His comment came after the Financial Times reported “catastrophic” outages amid the war.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said on Friday that sending Starlink internet systems to Ukraine has been costly to SpaceX.
In a tweet reacting to a report by the Financial Times about “catastrophic” outages of the satellite internet service, the billionaire said: “This operation has cost SpaceX $80M & will exceed $100M by end of year.”
Musk went on to allege that the Financial Times’ reported “falsely claims that Starlink terminals & service were paid for, when only a small percentage have been.”
“As for what’s happening on the battlefield, that’s classified,” he concluded.
SpaceX did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider, made outside normal business hours Saturday.
In the early months of the war, Ukraine’s digital minister Mykhailo Fedorov urged Musk to provide Starlink systems to Ukraine. The billionaire was quick to respond and in a matter of hours said the systems were active and more terminals were on the way.
Fedorov, who is also Ukraine’s vice prime minister, told Insider in July there was still a need for more Starlink systems: “The ongoing threat and damage to our communication infrastructures means we use Starlink to cover our blind spots.”
Fedorov did not disclose to Insider how many Starlink systems had been damaged in the war zones then, but he praised the service.
SpaceX has delivered 15,000 Starlink kits to Ukraine following the invasion, according to SpaceX’s June all-hands meeting slideshow.
The US Agency for International Development paid SpaceX about $2 million for 1,333 terminals to be sent to Ukraine, according to The Washington Post.