A US Africa Command spokesperson has shared that one of its MQ-1C drones has malfunctioned over Niger, Africa, while armed with a Hellfire missile. It’s not the first time the US drones have crashed in the region, with an MQ-9 Reaper crashing due to mechanical failure last year.
According to Reuters, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has reportedly signed two deals with the United States to purchase 18 MQ-9 Reaper drones and 50 F-35 fighter jets. It is also reported that one of the deals was signed right before Biden officially took office, prompting him to look over the deal.
US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that will fast-track Chinese drones being removed from US agencies. The order will require all US agencies using Chinese drones to prioritize removing them from service.
During a recent drill, Iran tested out its latest addition to the battlefield. A set of kamikaze or suicide drones as a show of power toward Trump and the US. The tension between the two countries has risen recently due to the anniversary of the death of one of Iran’s top generals caused by a US drone strike.
The secretary of the US Department of the Interior (DOI) has issued a memo encouraging the purchase of specific US-made drones, including a link to those specific models. It’s the latest in a growing movement toward American-manufactured drones — and away from those made in China.
China has added drones and other technology to the country’s revised banned export list in response to the US ban on Chinese tech companies. The ban comes as the US and China continue their trade battle, which seems to be getting worse.
Two MQ-9 Reaper drones have reportedly fallen out of the sky after they collided with one another over Syria according to a defense official. The military drones are said to have collided yesterday with the burning drones seen tumbling toward the ground.
DroneShield has delivered its handheld and portable anti-drone products to a US government agency for around $312,000 (AUD $450,000) in hopes of future orders being made for DroneShield’s other various products.
COVID-19 is pushing society to get creative with how we do business and use technology. That’s included calls to expand drone use for contact-free deliveries. Now two senators are calling on the FAA to waive rules that slow down development of drone delivery services. Expand Expanding Close
Today the U.S. Department of Interior issued an order that basically grounds their entire Chinese-made drone fleet except for in a few special situations such as fire fighting and search and rescue missions. Understandably, DJI is not at all pleased with this order and responds to the U.S. Department of Interior drone order issued the following statement.
After temporarily grounding its fleet of drones last year, the U.S. Interior Department grounded its drone fleet after issuing an order today to formally adopt a no-fly rule aimed at drones made in China or with Chinese parts. Exceptions will be made for those situations in which drones are needed to respond to natural disasters or other emergencies.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is asking Congress to pass new legislation that would allow the agency to surveil, research, seize and destroy airborne drones or unmanned aerial systems in the National Airspace. In a written testimony, Hayley Chang, DHS Deputy General Counsel said that today the U.S. Government is: “unable to effectively counter malicious use of drones because we are hampered by federal laws enacted years before UAS technology was available for commercial and consumer use.”
According to the report, mandated by Congress, the FAA’s rules for commercial drone operations are too strict, preventing the society to benefit from the life-saving potential unmanned aerial systems (UAS) offer. Instead of adhering to a near-zero risk tolerance, the agency should balance the risks associated with drones with their potential advantages. The report urges the FAA to compare the risk posed by small drones to other risks the public is willing to accept such as driving a car, crossing a street or swimming in the ocean.
It seems that the letter that was sent by Chris Murphy, the Junior Senator from Connecticut on May 7th, has led to the Department of Defense (DoD) banning the purchase of commercial-over-the-shelf UAS, including DJI drones for most (if not all) departments. The ban went into effect immediately (as of May 23rd, 2018.
On May 7th, Chris Murphy, the Junior Senator from Connecticut had sent a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, expressing his concerns over an additional purchase of 16 DJI drones in addition to the hundreds of DJI’s drones already purchased by U.S. government agencies and the Department of Defense. In his letter, Murphy mentions that at least three separate agencies have found that the commercial unmanned aerial systems (UAS) from the Chinese drone manufacturer pose a potential national security threat. He urges the DoD to cut Chinese drone-maker DJI out of its business and suggests that the department works with domestic drone makers instead, even if they may require some assistance. A source close to the matter has indicated that the DoD has stopped using DJI as of May 24th as a result of Murphy’s letter.
The market for consumer and commercial drones has been growing at a very rapid pace. According to the latest FAA numbers, there are now 943,535 registrations of drones and drone owners in the U.S. market at least, two-thirds of which are made by DJI.
Is leading drone manufacturer, DJI sending sensitive information captured by these drones of U.S. infrastructure and government installations back to China? This is a question that is being asked by U.S. officials.