04 December 2011

Iran Claims to Have Brought Down an RQ-170 Stealthy UAV

The Iranians are claiming that they brought down the Beast of Kandahar:
The official Iran Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) is reporting that national military forces have shot down a US Lockheed Martin RQ-170 stealth unmanned air system. The aircraft sustained "little damage" and is in the possession of the Iranian military, IRNA reports.

Iranian news agency claims always have to be taken with some degree of scepticism.

The credibility of the online version of the IRNA article is not helped by the accompanying photo. The US Air Force has never released an official picture of the RQ-170, but we can be sure the the UAV in the IRNA article is not it. The IRNA photo instead is a stock image of the BAE Systems Raven delta wing demonstrator, an aircraft that was retired more than seven years ago.
NATO is admitting that it lost control of a drone, which, as David Axe notes would imply that it's not an RQ-170, since it is designed to operate autonomously.

Of course, the question I've always had is why use an expensive stealthy drone in a theater where the opposition does not even have a radar.

If the Iranians have in fact brought down an RQ-170, and right now I would say it's less than 30%, it happened because some moron in the Pentagon decided to deploy a system not required by the circumstances.


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