Israel Defense Forces to issue troops with Chinese drones
It's no secret that Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are building a military-level drone called Tzur but before that project gets off the drawing board, the army can't wait to equip its troops with this new technology.
According to reports in Jane's Defence Weekly, the IDF is buying consumer-level products from Chinese drone company DJI as a temporary measure.
The report, quoting an unnamed "senior military source", said the army chose DJI because it has the "most highly-sold unmanned aerial systems".
DJI's flagship product - Mavic - and the professional-level Matrice 100 are on the purchase list.
IDF plans to give most of the drones to infantries, and the rest to ground forces.
The report said IDF sees drones as important because they can provide "images from the air, as well as from opposite angles," thus exposing enemy positions.
Shenzhen-based DJI has achieved big success selling drones online. Earlier this year, the company opened a handful of brick and mortar stores in the US, modeled on existing retail outlets in Asia.
No data about DJI's market share is available but in 2015, the company was dominant in the US. According to a late-2016 report on tech blog The Verge, one out of two consumer drones sold in the US was a DJI.
In January, digital outlet Quartz even claimed "DJI starts to to look like the Apple of consumer drones."