Buy Drone From China
In Yemen, a Saudi-led coalition has dispatched the Chinese aircraft, also known as uncrewed aerial vehicles or UAVs, as part of a devastating air campaign that has killed more than 8,000 Yemeni civilians in the past eight years. In Iraq, authorities say they used Chinese drones to carry out more than 260 air raids against ISIL (ISIS) targets as of mid-2018, with a success rate of nearly 100 percent.
buy drone from china
While similar in design and capabilities to the US-made drones, the Chinese aircraft are also much cheaper, making them more attractive to global buyers. For instance, the CH-4 and the Wing Loong 2 are estimated to cost between $1m and $2m, while the Reaper costs $16m and the Predator $4m, according to CSIS, the US-based think tank.
Washington restricts the sales of its combat drone sales by citing the Missile Technology Control Regime, an agreement established in 1987 to limit the proliferation of platforms capable of delivering chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. It reportedly denied requests for the weaponised aircraft from Jordan, Iraq, and the UAE, forcing these countries to buy from China instead.
Citing the inherent threat in using Chinese-made drones, the General Services Administration (GSA) said in a January 12 blog post that it will remove all drones from multiple award schedule contracts, except those drones approved by a Department of Defense (DoD) Defense Innovation Unit program for its small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS).
China currently dominates the drone-manufacturing market. The world's largest drone maker, the Shenzhen-based SZ Dà-Jiāng Innovations Science and Technology Co., Ltd., or DJI, has a 76.8% share of the U.S. market, according to the German drone research organization Droneii.
The world's second-largest drone company also is Chinese, according to Droneii. Yuneec International, based in Suzhou, China, produces more than 1 million drones annually, with operations around the world, including the U.S., according to its website.
Although the U.S. government knew Chinese drones had serious security risks as early as 2017, it has had few options given DJI's marketplace dominance. A VOA investigation in 2019 revealed the U.S. Air Force and Navy had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on DJI drones. Public federal procurement records show that well into 2020, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs had purchased DJI drones.
Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal 2020 on December 20, 2019, and the American Security Drone Act was reintroduced on January 27. The proposed law would prohibit the government purchase of drones manufactured in countries identified as national security threats, like China. The act has bipartisan support.
"The U.S. has an interest in building a healthier manufacturing ecosystem. There are some indications that local companies will get a lot of support they need from the government" and be able to capture more market share," said Alexander, whose enterprise is not on the list of approved drone manufacturers.
But replacing Chinese-made drones poses problems for the near term. David Benowitz, head of research at DroneAnalyst in Redwood City, California, pointed out that "just from a pure manufacturing standpoint, the U.S. manufacturers aren't there yet to replace DJI."
The U.S. has long been concerned about DJI drones. In 2017, a leaked memo by the Department of Homeland Security accused DJI of spying for China. On May 23, 2018, then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan issued a ban on the purchase and use of all commercial off-the-shelf drones, citing "cybersecurity vulnerabilities."
Adam Lisberg, DJI's North American communications director, did not answer VOA's questions earlier this year about the federal government's ban. He pointed out in an email that DJI had previously issued a statement on security risks. The October 26, 2020, statement said all of DJI's drone products can be operated without an internet connection at all, and their government edition solution also disables the ability to send any data to DJI.
The latest data from the Federal Aviation Administration shows that nearly 900,000 drones of various types are registered with the agency. "A few decades ago, drones were confined to science fiction or notions of the future. Today, unmanned Aircraft Systems, or drones, are rapidly becoming a part of our everyday lives," a FAA statement said recently.
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Driving the news: The U.S. Secret Service is the latest to purchase surveillance drones from the Shenzhen-based company DJI, which dominates the commercial drone market in the U.S. and abroad.
The Department of Defense issued a ban on the purchase and use of all commercial off-the-shelf drones, citing "cybersecurity vulnerabilities," in a memo from then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan dated May 23, 2018.
The ban came nearly a year after the U.S. Army, the Department of Homeland Security and members of Congress warned that drone-market-leader Da Jiang Innovations (DJI) could be helping the Chinese government spy on the United States.
"We know that a lot of the information is sent back to China from those, so it is not something that we can use," Ellen Lord, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, told reporters at the Pentagon last month. 041b061a72