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Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) / Commercial Drone [ 2022 ]

The Chinese DJI MAVIK 3 lightweight, camera-equipped drone has seen operational over-battlefield use in Ukraine by Russian forces.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/08/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The DJI Mavik is an off-the-shelf quadcopter series originating from DJI of Shenzhen, China and belongs to a product line that currently (2022) includes the "MAVIC 2 PRO", "MAVIC PRO Platinum", "MAVIC 2 ZOOM", "AIR", "AIR 2", "AIR 2S", "MINI SE", "MINI 2", and the lineup's flagship product - the "MAVIC 3" (the focus of this article). While an inherently commercial-minded product, the drone has been featured more and more by Russian forces (apparently through crowd-funding measures and import by way of ally China) during the country's invasion of neighboring Ukraine beginning in February 2022.

Some visual evidence suggests the drones have been being equipped with more advanced optics including thermal sensors and have been subject to other over-battlefield modifications for Russian Army forces desperate to match the Ukrainians lead in use of drones in the conflict.

Beyond its assumed real-time reconnaissance / scouting capabilities in the military sphere, a solution like the MAVIC 3 can also be used for military operations related to artillery spotting / direction and have excellent qualities that includes low-procurement costs, ease-of-use, near-silent operation, and transportability - all vital to the modern battlefield. In the civilian space, the same tool can be deployed in more humanitarian ways such as Search & Rescue (SAR) efforts and post-disaster assessment and take part in general industry initiatives (Oil & Gas, offshore), border control, smuggling prevention, and maritime boundaries enforcement.

The MAVIC 3 boasts such features as a full-color, high-resolution video-recording twin-camera arrangement, omnidirectional obstacle / terrain avoidance (with downward / upward vision), smooth flight characteristics, low-light operation capability, and automatic-return function. The Unmanned Air System (UAS) can sustain flight up to 46 minutes and transmit 1080p live-feed at 60fps out to a range of 15 kilometers. The drone is operated remotely / wirelessly via a gamepad-style controller (complete with thumbsticks) by a single ground operator.

The MAVIC 3's arrangement is conventional as quadcopter's go, the twin-bladed propellers held outboard on extending arms emanating from the body. The primary optics set is positioned at the front for the drone with sensors and front and back. The system can be handily collapsed for transport.

The complete kit is made up of the quadcopter / drone itself, the RC Pro handset, carry bag, drone storage cover, 10Gbps data cable, filters, and portable charger.

As of April 2022, the MAVIC 3 retails for $2,049 USD.©MilitaryFactory.com
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April 2022 - More and more visual evidence has been seen of Russian forces and supporting elements in Ukraine utilizing the MAVIK drone for surveillance.

June 2022 - Photographic evidence has revealed that the MAVIC 3 drone is also in operational forces with Ukrainian ground elements, specifically with the 36th Marine Brigade.



Service Year

China national flag graphic

In Active Service.

National flag of China National flag of Russia National flag of Ukraine China; Russia; Ukraine
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Close-Air Support (CAS)
Developed to operate in close proximity to active ground elements by way of a broad array of air-to-ground ordnance and munitions options.
Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
Unmanned Capability
Aircraft inherently designed (or later developed) with an unmanned capability to cover a variety of over-battlefield roles.

Design utilizes an all-electric powerplant for drive power.
Inherent ability of airframe to take considerable damage.
Can reach and operate at higher altitudes than average aircraft of its time.
Design features ability to fly sans pilot, actions controlled onboard through programming and / or ground-based operator.
Design features autonomous flight operations made possible through onboard artificial intelligence or pre-programming.
Payload supports photographic equipment providing still and / or real-time image / video results.

3.7 ft
(1.14 m)
3.1 ft
(0.93 m)
1.1 ft
(0.35 m)
Empty Wgt
2 lb
(1 kg)
2 lb
(1 kg)
Wgt Diff
+0 lb
(+0 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base DJI MAVIK 3 production variant)
Installed: All-electric quadcopter arrangement driving 4 x Twin-bladed lift units.
Max Speed
43 mph
(69 kph | 37 kts)
Cruise Speed
34 mph
(54 kph | 29 kts)
Max. Speed Diff
+9 mph
(+15 kph | 8 kts)
19,685 ft
(6,000 m | 4 mi)
10 mi
(16 km | 30 nm)
26 ft/min
(8 m/min)

♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030

(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base DJI MAVIK 3 production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)
None. Payload restricted to optics.

Supported Types

(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
MAVIK 3 - Base Series Name.

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Images Gallery

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Image of the DJI MAVIK 3
Image from DJI website product marketing materials.


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