AIRLINK 73.50 Decreased By ▼ -0.50 (-0.68%)
BOP 4.99 Decreased By ▼ -0.03 (-0.6%)
CNERGY 4.43 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.23%)
DFML 39.19 Decreased By ▼ -0.01 (-0.03%)
DGKC 85.60 Decreased By ▼ -0.49 (-0.57%)
FCCL 21.69 Increased By ▲ 0.04 (0.18%)
FFBL 34.00 Decreased By ▼ -0.01 (-0.03%)
FFL 9.79 Decreased By ▼ -0.13 (-1.31%)
GGL 10.67 Increased By ▲ 0.11 (1.04%)
HBL 113.12 Decreased By ▼ -0.77 (-0.68%)
HUBC 136.00 Increased By ▲ 0.16 (0.12%)
HUMNL 12.10 Increased By ▲ 0.20 (1.68%)
KEL 4.76 Decreased By ▼ -0.08 (-1.65%)
KOSM 4.51 Decreased By ▼ -0.02 (-0.44%)
MLCF 38.29 Increased By ▲ 0.02 (0.05%)
OGDC 135.50 Increased By ▲ 0.65 (0.48%)
PAEL 26.00 Decreased By ▼ -0.35 (-1.33%)
PIAA 19.24 Decreased By ▼ -1.56 (-7.5%)
PIBTL 6.75 Increased By ▲ 0.07 (1.05%)
PPL 122.11 Decreased By ▼ -0.89 (-0.72%)
PRL 27.11 Increased By ▲ 0.42 (1.57%)
PTC 14.20 Decreased By ▼ -0.13 (-0.91%)
SEARL 57.60 Decreased By ▼ -1.52 (-2.57%)
SNGP 68.14 Decreased By ▼ -1.36 (-1.96%)
SSGC 10.28 Decreased By ▼ -0.05 (-0.48%)
TELE 8.45 Decreased By ▼ -0.05 (-0.59%)
TPLP 11.13 Decreased By ▼ -0.10 (-0.89%)
TRG 63.80 Decreased By ▼ -1.05 (-1.62%)
UNITY 26.12 Decreased By ▼ -0.13 (-0.5%)
WTL 1.32 Decreased By ▼ -0.02 (-1.49%)
BR100 7,855 Increased By 4.6 (0.06%)
BR30 25,254 Decreased By -82.6 (-0.33%)
KSE100 75,294 Increased By 87.7 (0.12%)
KSE30 24,182 Increased By 39 (0.16%)

WASHINGTON: SpaceX is building a network of hundreds of spy satellites under a classified contract with a US intelligence agency, five sources familiar with the program said, demonstrating deepening ties between billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s space company and national security agencies.

The network is being built by SpaceX’s Starshield business unit under a $1.8 billion contract signed in 2021 with the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), an intelligence agency that manages spy satellites, the sources said.

The plans show the extent of SpaceX’s involvement in US intelligence and military projects and illustrate a deeper Pentagon investment into vast, low-Earth orbiting satellite systems aimed at supporting ground forces.

If successful, the sources said the program would significantly advance the ability of the US government and military to quickly spot potential targets almost anywhere on the globe.

The contract signals growing trust by the intelligence establishment of a company whose owner has clashed with the Biden administration and sparked controversy over the use of Starlink satellite connectivity in the Ukraine war, the sources said.

The Wall Street Journal reported in February the existence of a $1.8 billion classified Starshield contract with an unknown intelligence agency without detailing the purposes of the program.

Reuters reporting discloses for the first time that the SpaceX contract is for a powerful new spy system with hundreds of satellites bearing Earth-imaging capabilities that can operate as a swarm in low orbits, and that the spy agency that Musk’s company is working with is the NRO.

Reuters was unable to determine when the new network of satellites would come online and could not establish what other companies are part of the program with their own contracts.

SpaceX, the world’s largest satellite operator, did not respond to several requests for comment about the contract, its role in it and details on satellite launches. The Pentagon referred a request for comment to the NRO and SpaceX.

In a statement the NRO acknowledged its mission to develop a sophisticated satellite system and its partnerships with other government agencies, companies, research institutions and nations, but declined to comment on Reuters’ findings about the extent of SpaceX’s involvement in the effort.

Comments

Comments are closed.