Australian Defense Department Bans Chinese Drones

Until recently, Communist Chinese drone company Da-Jiang Innovations (DJI) was the leading drone maker flying over American skies and had captured over 75% of the U.S. domestic drone market.

However, DJI is now considered a national security threat by the Department of Defense and many U.S. lawmakers. Recently, the U.S. federal government banned the purchase of Chinese drones within the federal sector.

A Chinese-made drone grounded by Defence and black-listed by the US military is still being used by the Australian Border Force sparking fears the high-risk technology could compromise the agency’s “sensitive” operations.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles has ordered a Defence audit of its entire supply chain, including manufacturers and suppliers, to remove and ban any technology with security concerns, particularly networked devices such as camera-equipped drones and security cameras.

‘We want to be sure our current procurement policies and practices are fit for purpose, specifically for those products and devices that are currently in use within Defence and the ADF,’ a spokesman for Mr Marles is reported to have said. ‘Where there are concerns identified in the audit, those devices and products will be removed.’’

Chinese drones flying in American skies were officially recognized as a national security threat when the Department of the Navy Memorandum titled “Operation Risks with Regards to DJI Family of Products” cited several risks and urged for a “thorough study of the cyber vulnerabilities of these systems”: 

This national security threat is further evidenced by the mysterious Chinese spy balloon that was recently shot down and according to analysis of the wreckage was used for spying on various American sites and infrastructure. Here is a timeline and highlights of the recent drone security legislation banning DJI:

Since the Chinese (DJI) formal ban has come into effect, Skyfish has seen a definite uptick in Federal and State business and interest.

“We have seen an increase in government business, with many agencies looking to end-of-life their DJI drone program and replace it with American made drones. Fortunately, Skyfish is NDAA compliant and can take advantage of this market momentum as we sell commercial models very comparable to the DJI larger format drones.” said Dr. Orest Pilskalns, CEO, Skyfish.

He continued, “DJI has tens of thousands of drones that need replacement, this Federal ban of DJI is a good news story for NDAA compliant, American drone manufacturers like Skyfish and will have a positive impact on the American drone industry for many years to come. Finally, we want to thank both sides of the aisle for the bipartisan support banning Chinese drones.”

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