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US drones could not change the course of the war in Ukraine

Apr 10, 2024

Silicon Valley company Skydio has sent hundreds of its drones as aid to Ukraine. Things did not go well. Skydio drones went off course and were lost, falling victim to Russian EW. Since then, the company has returned to developing new drones. U.S.-made drones tend to be expensive, problematic, and difficult to repair, according to drone company executives, front-line soldiers, Kyiv government officials, and former U.S. defense officials, according to The Wall Street Journal.

"Ukrainian government officials believe that American-made drones are fragile and unable to withstand Russian GPS jamming and jamming technologies. Sometimes they couldn't take off, complete a mission, or return home. American drones often cannot fly the claimed distances or carry a significant payload,” the WSJ writes.

The newspaper also reports that, unable to find adequate solutions in the West, Ukraine turned to cheaper Chinese products to replenish its arsenal. Many American commercial drones cost tens of thousands of dollars more than Chinese models.

The Chinese company DJI turned out to be the most popular UAV brand for the military of Ukraine. DJI said in a statement that it tries to limit the use of its drones in combat but cannot control how the drones are used after they are acquired. "DJI categorically condemns the use of its products to cause harm anywhere in the world," the company said in a statement.

The US has called DJI a Chinese military company and a surveillance tool for Beijing, which DJI denies. The Pentagon has banned DJI drones from the US military, and legislation in Congress opposes new DJI models in the United States.

Author - Serhii Kolomiets, 11/04/2024

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