Why US Secret Service and FBI are still buying DJI drones

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While the US Department of Defense has been shouting itself hoarse over DJI drones being “potential threats to national security,” the FBI and the US Secret Service have bought at least 27 DJI drones in the past few months. So, what gives?

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Update: Lobby group slams Interior Department memo on expensive, ineffective Pentagon-approved drones

A couple of days ago, we wrote about a leaked US government memo that exposed the Department of Interior’s stance on Pentagon-approved Blue sUAS drones. The internal memo verified by the Financial Times revealed that following a ban on China-manufactured drones, the DoI is being forced to spend eight to 14 times more for machines that were only 20% as effective. It was a scathing memo, alright. So now, a lobby group consisting of US-based drone manufacturers and a Europe-headquartered open-source software developer is hitting back.

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Interior Department: Pentagon’s Blue sUAS drones grossly ineffective, 8-14 times costlier

The Pentagon has spent roughly $18 million to test and identify drones that government agencies can use instead of those made or assembled in China. But how do these drones stack up against the competition? Not too well, according to an internal US government memo. The Pentagon-approved Blue sUAS drones are 8 to 14 times more expensive and only 20% as effective when it comes to vital conservation work, according to the Department of Interior (DoI).

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US Africa Command’s MQ-1C drone malfunctions over Niger

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.

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UAE signs deal to purchase 18 MQ-9 Reaper drones and more

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.

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Trump signs order to fast-track the removal of Chinese-made drones

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.

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