DJI 'not consulted' about U.S. Army's drone decision

Updated 2017-08-08 10:01:06 Global Times

Chinese drone developer Dajiang Innovations Science and Technology Co, also known as DJI, said on Monday that it was not consulted about the U.S. Army's decision to restrict the use of its drones and will confer with the U.S. military about the meaning of "cyber vulnerabilities."

"We are surprised and disappointed to read reports of the U.S. Army's unprompted restriction on DJI drones as we were not consulted during its decision. We are happy to work directly with any organization, including the U.S. Army, that has concerns about our management of cyber issues," the company said in a statement sent to the Global Times on Monday.

The statement came in response to unmanned aviation news site sUAS News' report on Friday saying that U.S. Lieutenant General Joseph Anderson had directed the U.S. Army to halt use of all DJI products due to "increased awareness of cyber vulnerabilities associated with DJI products," citing a document from the U.S. Army.

"We'll be reaching out to the U.S. Army to confirm the memo and to understand what is specifically meant by 'cyber vulnerabilities'," the company said in the statement.

The company stressed that it has no cooperation with the military of any country.

"People, businesses and governments around the world rely on DJI's products and technology for a variety of uses including sensitive and mission-critical operations," it said.

According to the document cited by sUAS News, the Army Aviation Engineering Directorate once "issued over 300 separate airworthiness releases for DJI products in support of multiple organizations with a variety of mission sets."

According to the memo revealed by sUAS News, DJI Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) products "are the most widely used" UAS employed by the U.S. Army.

U.S. military media site Defense One reported that U.S. special operators in Syria and the U.S. Air Force are also using DJI drones, citing former Army intelligence soldier Brett Velicovich.

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