I could not beat the space missions with my current gear. If I want best-in-slot gear for my ship, I need to pay cash. If I pay cash, I can get all the rewards such as black hole comms and stabalizers I need to get full dread-guard relic armor. You can use real-life cash to get the highest end-game armor in the game.
Some say this is technically *not* pay to win, because the items are available in-game through other means (such as beating the raid content to begin win, or farming fleet/daily comms to buy the space gear).
Who cares about the term "pay to win", the point is it's "pay to do something that crosses a very clear line". Whatever it is called, buying end-game equipment for any area of the game is a mistake.
Pay to win, pay to skip, pay to gear up, whatever it's called, it sucks.