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US Air Force plans contract for DJI unmanned aerial vehicles

28 June 2019
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DJI’s Phantom 4 Pro consumer UAV. The USAF wants to purchase a variety of DJI consumer quadcopter UAVs, likely to investigate counter-UAV capabilities. Source: DJI

Key Points

  • The US Air Force plans to buy DJI quadcopter UAVs
  • The service likely plans to use these aircraft for counter-UAV investigation and experiments because DJI dominates the consumer UAV market

The US Air Force (USAF) is planning to award China's DJI a firm-fixed-price contract to acquire a variety of the company's consumer unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), according to a notice posted on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website.

The service plans to acquire six Phantom 4 aircraft, five Phantom 4 Pro models, and six DJI Mavic Pros - all quadcopter aircraft. The UAVs are for the 11th Security Forces Squadron at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.

DJI spokesperson Adam Lisberg said on 28 June that although the Phantom 4 Pro has paused production while DJI waits for some additional components to become available, some dealers still have stock. DJI, he said, typically does not market its products directly to military customers. Lisberg said if a DJI reseller was interested in pursuing this opportunity, it would follow up using its own stock. DJI lists the Phantom 4 Pro v2.0 at USD1,500.

The Phantom 4 Pro is a 13.9 kg aircraft with a top speed of 72 kph. Its maximum service celling above sea level is 19,685 ft, and it has a maximum flight time of approximately 30 minutes.

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