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Saturday, January 16th, 2021

Sen. Murphy calls on Defense Department to ban use of foreign-made drones

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U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) recently sent a letter to U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Secretary James Mattis asking him to consider a ban on DoD use of foreign-made drones until the completion of further threat-assessments.

The DoD previously deemed drones manufactured in China a potential national security threat, yet the U.S. government continues to use them, Murphy noted in the letter.

“I am writing with concern over the continued use by the Department of Defense of commercial unmanned aerial systems (UAS) that at least three separate agencies have found pose a potential national security threat,” Murphy wrote. “These vulnerabilities pose a tremendous national security risk, as the information obtained by the Chinese government could be used to conduct physical or cyber-attacks against U.S. civilian and military targets.”

Murphy also requested that Mattis provide him with an update on DoD policy concerning the use of commercially available drones manufactured in foreign countries and emphasized that American UAS manufacturers are ready to fill the DoD’s needs.

“The burgeoning domestic UAS industry is currently competing with artificially priced foreign products that have been dumped in our domestic market,” Murphy wrote. “With some assistance, U.S. manufacturers are ready to fill your Department’s needs. Our adversaries will always see value in surveilling our critical infrastructure, and without a trusted domestic source of UAS, we will continue to be vulnerable.”