SpaceX has signed a $1.8 billion contract for 2021 with the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the US intelligence agency that manages spy satellites, according to sources in the US intelligence services.

SpaceX has recently been highly involved in US intelligence and military projects. Recently, the Pentagon has begun to invest in satellite systems aimed at supporting ground forces by partnering with companies such as SpaceX.

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WILL DETECT TARGETS ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD

Sources say that if successful, the program will significantly enhance the ability of the US government and military to quickly identify potential targets anywhere in the world.

In recent weeks, there have been allegations that the Starlink satellite link was used in the Ukraine war.

1.8 BILLION DOLLAR CONTRACT

The Wall Street Journal reported in February that a secret $1.8 billion "Starshield" contract had been signed between an unknown intelligence agency and SpaceX, without detailing the program's goals.

The contract includes a powerful new spy system with hundreds of satellites capable of swarming in low orbit, carrying Earth imaging capabilities.

"The National Reconnaissance Office is developing the most capable, diverse and resilient space-based intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system the world has ever seen," a spokesperson said of the satellite network.

It remains unclear when the new satellite network will be operational and which other companies will be involved in the program under their own contracts.