Parrot, a French drone maker that has long been a competitor to China’s DJI, has now been selected to make spy aircraft for the United States military. You could hardly expect DJI to be ever selected for a Department of Defense program on account of its Chinese nationality. Parrot is one of the six companies that have been selected for this program by the U.S. Department of Defense.
The project will result in the development of short-range aircraft that will be used for reconnaissance or spying missions by the military. The five other companies are also commercial entities from the United States and Europe.
DJI isn’t on the list even though it’s one of the world’s largest and arguably the most popular drone makers. Its products are not only loved by consumers but have widely been deployed for a variety of other purposes as well such as aiding first responders in the event of an emergency. Since this is a military project, it was unlikely that DJI would have been picked for it, particularly at this point in time due to the ongoing trade tensions between the United States and China.
Parrot will receive an undisclosed amount from the $11 million fund set up by the Department of Defense. It will build prototypes of next-generation drones that can perform recon missions while flying for 30 minutes straight at a range of up to three kilometers. These drones will be able to fit inside a soldier’s standard-issue rucksack and take under 2 minutes to assemble.