The US Army has announced the successful trial of a military version of Elon Musk’s “Starlink” communications network.
Called the “Starshield,” the technology utilizes low Earth orbit satellites to create a more secure network for soldiers.
It will serve as a “redundant” or backup system in case the service’s main communications system gets jammed by enemies.
“We’ve done some testing with it at home station, and all of our systems worked flawlessly over the backbones that it provides,” 5th Security Force Assistance Brigade commander Col. Brandon Teague said.
The US Army will further test the Starshield during the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center in Hawaii later this month.
While SpaceX’s Starlink is designed for commercial use, Starshield will focus on military applications, particularly in communications, delivering space situational awareness, and providing alternative positioning, navigation, and timing solutions.
It features high-assurance cryptographic capability to process data securely and meet “the most demanding” military or government requirements.
Additionally, the system is designed to be user-friendly, allowing even non-specialized soldiers to set it up quickly on the battlefield.
According to Teague, the Starshield will play a crucial role in ensuring uninterrupted communications for his brigade during upcoming trials.
“We have satellite communications that are organic to the [Security Force Assistance Brigade] already. But this [Starshield] just provides us another means, should we need it, again, to have that redundant level of communication,” he explained.