Officials in Kyiv have announced that Ukraine has procured and deployed 300 Mavic 3T drones to the eastern front in just a matter of days, in preparation for a possible springtime counter-offensive against Russian troops.
This is another setback for DJI, the global drone giant, in their efforts to prevent their consumer and enterprise products from being used in the conflict provoked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Although DJI has repeatedly stated its opposition to their technology being used for violent activities, the company had to halt sales of its products in both countries last April when their drones were being used for reconnaissance and attacks by both Russian and Ukrainian combatants.
Despite this, Ukraine has still managed to acquire the Mavic 3T drones. The announcement was made by Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister for Innovation, Development of Education, Science and Technology, Mykhailo Fedorov, who shared photos of the drones piled up in a small mountain on social media on Thursday.
“Big drones supply for the frontline,” his tweet said. “300 Mavic 3T already serve in Donbas, Zaporizhizhia and Kherson. ‘Birds’ have thermal imagers and zoom cameras to detect & destroy Russian hardware.”
“They allow you to conduct reconnaissance, aim artillery, and most importantly, save the lives of our soldiers” Federov said, adding the Army of Drones project had now raised $108 million and purchased 3,201 aircraft.
“The Drone Army project has grown into a major state support for the development of UAVs in Ukraine,” he continued. “All so that there are hundreds of times more drones at the front because the courage of Ukrainians and technology will be key to future victory.”
The Ukrainian Ministry announced on its website that a fleet of 300 DJI Mavic 3T drones was purchased for $1.6 million under the Army of Drones program. The funding was raised in just three days by a group of organizers. The Mavic 3T drone entry-level combo package costs $5,780, bringing the total value of the fleet to just over $1.7 million.
All 300 drones have been dispatched to strategic locations in the east, possibly in preparation for a rumored spring offensive. The press release stated that Ukrainian forces in Zaporizhia already have 85 Mavic 3Ts, while those in Kherson are already using them against Russian troops.
The drones are equipped with high-tech features such as a thermal sensor and high-powered zoom camera, which make them ideal for precise information-gathering missions, including night operations.
The deployment of the Mavic 3T drones is likely to boost the morale of supporters of Ukraine globally. However, this news is also expected to upset DJI, as it is yet another indication that its drones are being used in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia despite the company’s repeated attempts to prevent it.