DJI Is No Longer Making the AeroScope Drone Detector

There's been some speculation as to why

DJI drone
A DJI Mavic 3 drone controlled by a Ukrainian Army 93rd Brigade drone operator flies over snow-covered rubble near the frontline with Russian troops on February 18, 2023 in Bakhmut, Ukraine.
John Moore/Getty Images

A company discontinuing one of its products isn’t something that tends to have geopolitical implications. When the company in question is one of the world’s leading drone manufacturers and the product in question is something that connects to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, however, things turn a bit more complicated. And that seems to be what’s happening with DJI and their AeroScope system for drone detection.

As The Verge reported last year, Ukraine’s government accused Russia of using AeroScope as part of its military campaign. DJI — which, to further complicate matters, has received funding from the Chinese government — responded by curbing all sales and support to both sides in the conflict.

Now, the Aeroscope itself has ceased production. As UAVHive reported on Twitter, DJI’s website now states that the AeroScope is “no longer in production.” What’s less clear is why this decision was made. The Verge’s reporting on this news cites a tweet from DJI’s former Vice President for policy, Brendan Schulman.

Schulman pointed to two likely reasons: the F.A.A.’s Remote ID rule and issues with U.S. security agencies. “It doesn’t make sense to continue supporting a feature that was created to assist US security interests when being constantly attacked by US security agencies,” Schulman wrote.

Report: SpaceX Asked the Pentagon to Take Over Funding for Starlink Terminals in Ukraine
Elon Musk made controversial comments about the war earlier this month

Drone pilots are required to comply with the Remote ID rule by September 16, 2023. As for what other changes this deadline might spark in the drone industry, stay tuned — it seems likely that more could be on the way.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.