The Russian and Ukrainian military use the DJI Mavic 3 a lot, even though DJI has said many times that they do not make drones for military use and that they have stopped selling drones in Russia and Ukraine.
The DJI Mavic 3 is used by both sides of a war to do reconnaissance, give exact coordinates of where the enemy is, and drop grenades and other explosives on enemy positions.
DJI Mavic 3 is true modern warfare icon
The use of DJI Mavic 3 drones by all armies is so pervasive, according to a Washington Post piece, that Ukrainian troops claim they often are unsure of whether a drone they see is friendly or hostile. One should be shot down if it hovers for an extended period of time rather than just passing past.
Despite DJI barring all drone sales in Russia and Ukraine, nonprofit organizations and volunteers continue to buy drones in quantity from retailers. The drones are equipped to drop small arms by the Ukrainians, who also employ them for reconnaissance.
Last month, when Ukrainian forces pushed in the southern Kherson area, a special forces unit used recycled Coke cans to make explosives that were dropped from Mavics into mined fields as a cheap means to create a passage for their soldiers.
However, the DJI Mavic 3’s strongest feature is not its ability to drop small explosives but to conduct some sort of psychological warfare. While the grenades dropped by the DJI Mavic 3 don’t cause major damage, the drone attacks make the Russian enemies paranoid, fearing a larger attack at any moment.
“We can make their lives a nightmare all of the time,” said Oleksandr Dubinskyi, a Khartia drone pilot, to the Washington Post.
Senior Russian and Ukrainian commanders, many of whom trained alongside during the Soviet era, have always had reservations about drones. Now they are working quickly to train thousands of drone pilots.
According to Mykhailo Fedorov, minister of Ukraine’s digital transformation, United24, the country’s official crowdfunding platform, has contracts to purchase approximately 1,000 UAVs as part of its “Army of Drones” project. But even so, it’s insufficient.
To broadcast the combat continuously, Fedorov said that the objective is to have 10,000 drones, presumably mostly DJI Mavic 3s, flying along the wide front line.
Photos courtesy of Sasha Maslov for the Washington Post.
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