Ukraine buys 8,200 Chinese drones in $27.5M deal

Ukrainian Ministry of Defense's Defense Procurement Agency on Tuesday announced that it had bought 4,200 new DJI Mavic 3E drones from China, along with extra equipment.

This purchase brings the total number of DJI Mavic drones recently ordered to 8,200, comprising 7,200 DJI Mavic 3E and 1,000 DJI Mavic 3T units.

The entire contract is valued at 1.1 billion Ukrainian Hryvnias, or about $27.5 million.

The procurement details indicate that the average cost per drone, which includes three extra batteries and a charger, is about $3,157.50 for the DJI Mavic 3E and around $4,855 for the DJI Mavic 3T.

Maryna Bezrukova, Director of the Defense Procurement Agency, noted that competitive auctions on the Prozorro platform and post-payment practices helped save over UAH 65 million (approximately $1.625 million) from the expected cost.

This latest contract follows a significant acquisition on April 22, 2024, which included 4,000 Chinese drones - 3,000 DJI Mavic 3E and 1,000 DJI Mavic 3T units -  costing approximately $14.38 million.

This procurement is part of a larger plan to acquire 20,000 DJI drones through Prozorro, a platform aimed at increasing transparency and competition in public procurement.

Prozorro is a fully electronic and open-source platform that allows global participation in public tenders, supporting electronic tender submissions and centralizing all public procurements in Ukraine.

The DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise Series, which includes the Mavic 3E and Mavic 3T models, is tailored for specific professional needs. The Mavic 3E, designed for mapping and surveying, features a 20 MP wide-angle camera with a 4/3 CMOS sensor and a mechanical shutter. It also includes a hybrid zoom camera with up to 56x magnification and an RTK module for precise positioning. The Mavic 3T, intended for firefighting and search and rescue operations, has a 48 MP wide-angle camera and a thermal camera with 640 × 512 px resolution. Its split-screen zoom functionality allows for efficient thermal and visual inspections.

Both models are equipped with advanced obstacle detection and navigation systems to ensure flight safety.

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