China’s drone manufacturer DJI will provide the Finnish Defense Forces with unmanned aerial vehicles, according to local media.
Finnish media reported on June 14 that Finland announced that it will be buying a total of 150 aerial drones capable of video recording from DJI. The drones should be delivered in 2019 – 2020 and cost around 270,000 Euros (~$300,000) in total.
According to the local news outlet Helsingin Sanomat, Finland will be purchasing the Mavic Pro Platinum drones, which can fly for up to 30 minutes and weigh around 700 grams. Previously, the Finnish Defense Forces purchased Israeli Orbiter drones and Swiss Ranger drones.
In December, the Finnish army asked the country’s Transport Safety Agency for a permit to utilize unmanned aerial vehicles for monitoring the country’s borders at night.
The decision to purchase DJI drones came after concerns for data privacy in drones surfaced online, as previously reported by CNN.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security had previously released an alert, warning drone owners that these unmanned aerial vehicles are a “potential risk to an organization’s information.” Although the report released did not name any specific manufacturers, nearly 80 percent of the drones used in the U.S. and Canada come from DJI.
Users were warned to “be cautious when purchasing” drones from China, and to take precautionary steps like turning off the device’s internet connection and removing secure digital cards to avoid “theft of information.”
In response to the privacy concerns, DJI said in a statement that it gives customers “full and complete control over how their data is collected, stored, and transmitted,” adding that “customers can enable all the precautions DHS recommends.”
“At DJI, safety is at the core of everything we do, and the security of our technology has been independently verified by the U.S. government and leading U.S. businesses,” DJI said.
The Shenzhen-based drone manufacturer DJI is the world’s largest drone manufacturer with a global market share of 70-80 percent.
Featured photo credit to DJI