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Russians are developing Starlink tracer

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

A Russian arms manufacturer claims it can help the country’s military detect and bombard Starlin satellite dishes, which have been crucial to the defense effort in Ukraine.

Earlier this month, a mysterious company called Sestroretsk Arms Factory published a website(Opens in a new window) that debuted the “Borshchevik” or “hogweed” system, which is designed to locate Starlink dishes at a distance of up to 10 kilometers (6.2 miles).

The technology can supposedly pinpoint a Starlink dish within 5 to 60 meters (16 to 196 feet) of its actual location. In addition, it can be fitted on top of a moving vehicle, allowing it to detect Starlink activity across the front lines on a battlefield.

A graphic from the website also shows the Borshchevik helping Russian artillery spot a Starlink dish in an urban area, in a more open outdoor setting, and in a forest. Another image shows the system being deployed via a tall antenna over a Russian Humvee.

However, it’s unclear how the Borshchevik system actually works or if it's even effective. News of the technology was posted(Opens in a new window) on a Telegram channel called “Reverse Side of the Medal,” which seems to be closely associated with the Russian military, including the paramilitary Wagner Group. The user behind the Reverse Side of the Medal channel said they plan on testing the Borshchevik system on the frontlines in Russia’s ongoing war with Ukraine.

Whatever the details are, it’s clear the Kremlin is no fan of Starlink. SpaceX's satellite internet system has been delivering broadband to wartorn areas across Ukraine while Ukrainian soldiers have been using Starlink out in the field as a communication tool and to even control drones.

As a result, Russia has made some veiled threats to “retaliate” against the Starlink network for aiding the Ukrainian military. In March, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk also warned Ukrainians in warzones to avoid placing Starlink dishes in open view.

By: DocMemory
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