The US air force has purchased dozens of Chinese-made drones, spurring concerns at the Department of Defence about the inherent risks for national security, the Wall Street Journal reported.

According to the report, which cited officials and records of the purchase, the US air force's Special Operations Command procured 57 drones from the Shenzhen-based company Da-Jiang Innovations (DJI) in September to use them for training airmen to figure out the potential threats that these devices pose for the US and learn how to neutralise them.

"Why would we allow the U.S. government to purchase drones from China?" the newspaper quoted Senator Chris Murphy as saying and adding that "Doing so allows Beijing to gather sensitive data from us and rewards an adversary at the expense of our own American manufacturers."

Critics in the United States have raised concerns about potential data privacy breach, arguing that the drones might collect critical information and send it back to Beijing, according to the report.

The air force officials have claimed, in turn, that Chinese drones are cheap and cost-effective, as cited in the report, while a DJI spokesman was quoted as assuring that their drones do not pose any risks of data loss or theft.

The newspaper referenced a 2019 law which prohibited US federal agencies from purchasing Chinese-language drones but made the Pentagon exempt to buy and use such drones for training purposes.