Starlink services considered by Japan’s Self-Defense Forces

(Credit: SpaceX)

Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (SDF) is considering using SpaceX’s Starlink services, reported local newspaper Yomiuri

Since March, Japan’s SDF has been testing SpaceX’s Starlink internet service for their land, sea, and air forces. Multiple government sources told Yomiuri that SDF is thinking of officially adopting Starlink’s internet service by the fiscal year starting April 2024. 

In late 2022, SpaceX launched an internet service designed to support national security called Starlink Starshield.

“Starshield leverages SpaceX’s Starlink technology and launch capability to support national security efforts,” noted SpaceX at the time. “While Starlink is designed for consumer and commercial use, Starshield is designed for government use, with an initial focus on three areas: Earth Observation, Communications, and Hosted Payloads.” 

Starlink’s role in the Ukraine-Russian War might have inspired the creation of Starshield services. Ukrainian soldiers have been vocal about the critical role Starlink plays in the war. The Pentagon has also praised Starlink’s reliable internet service.

Japan’s Self-Defense Forces use its own X-band satellites. It also plans to test other service providers this fiscal year. It would be interesting to see if the SDF adopts Starlink Starshield. 

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Starlink services considered by Japan’s Self-Defense Forces
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