US bans Pentagon use, procurement of Chinese UAVs

US bans Pentagon use, procurement of Chinese UAVs – link

Source: Jane’s

This Chinese DJI Matrice 210 UAV, on display with the Colombian National Police, is an aircraft that the Pentagon is now barred from acquiring. A provision in the FY 2020 NDAA prevents the Pentagon from acquiring Chinese-developed UAVs, components, or services. Photo: Jane's/Pat Host

Article Headlines

  • The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) bars the Pentagon from operating, acquiring, or renewing contracts for Chinese unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and associated components and services
  • The legislation, signed into law on 20 December, specifies a Chinese UAV as one that is either built in the nation or by a company domiciled there
  • The law applies to UAVs that use network connectivity or data storage either located in China or by a Chinese company
  • The defence secretary may waive the provision on a case-by-case basis if he or she certifies to the congressional defence committees that the operation or procurement of Chinese UAVs, equipment, or services are required in the national interest of the US
  • According to a DJI spokesperson although the company does not design or market its products for Pentagon use, it opposes the NDAA provision because it restricts the use of UAV technology based solely on where it is made and does nothing to promote cyber and data security
  • DJI products that are designed for use by the federal government have been tested and validated by US cyber-security consultants, federal agencies, and the Idaho National Laboratory

Overview & Comments

  • Affected too by the “trade war” between the US and China alongside with the serious security concerns this decision will no doubt affect DJI’s global reach within government & military users especially among western users
  • In 2017 Australia’s Department of Defence has established “revised operating procedures” for small unmanned aircraft, an action that follows a U.S. Army directive to its units in August to stop using drones manufactured by DJI
  • Just in the US DJI’s market share is an astonishing 76.8% (The data is based on FAA drone registration numbers as of June 3, 2019, as analyzed by drone market research and data group Drone Industry Insights) which obviously is relevant to the civilian / consumer industry

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