Saturday, January 16, 2021

After Banning Chinese Drones, Pentagon Approves Five US Firms For Drone Manufacturing

The U.S. Department of Defense on Thursday gave a green light to five US drone-manufacturing companies for military/law enforcement sales to offer an alternative after Chinese manufactured drones were banned.

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In a statement released on Thursday, the U.S. Department of Defense informed about the nod given to five US drone manufacturing companies to allow their products for purchase by the federal agencies.

The United States government had banned Pentagon from using made-in-China drones by using a measure, authored by Senator Chris Murphy, as part of the 2020 defense spending bill, or National Defence Authorisation Act.

The five companies given the approval are Altavian, Parrot SA, Skydio, Teal, and Vantage Robotics. “The Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), a Department of Defense (DOD) organization that accelerates commercial technology for national defense, announced the availability of five US-manufactured drone configurations to provide trusted, secure small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) options to the US Government”, the department stated.

The announcement will help the security forces to procure small, inexpensive, vertical take-off and landing drones that can assist the troops in the field with situational awareness and tactical superiority. These drones are also used for surveillance in compact, built-up areas.

The companies will provide their products on the General Services Administration schedule by September 2020.

“We need an alternative to Chinese-made small drones,” Mike Brown, director of the department’s Defense Innovation Unit, said in the statement. Approving the five companies’ products “enhances the long-term viability of this capability for the U.S. and our allies.”

The Chinese company SZ DJI Technology Co. Ltd. is the world’s largest drone manufacturer supplying customers around the globe. In January, it said that there was a lack of credible evidence that would prove the allegations and suspicions put up by the American government to support a broad country of origin on drone technology.

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