Skip to comments.Drone that crashed in Iran may give away U.S. secrets
Posted on 12/06/2011 8:56:48 AM PST by Qbert
Reporting from Los Angeles and Washington The radar-evading drone that crash-landed over the weekend in Iran was on a mission for the CIA, according to a senior U.S. official, raising fears that the aircraft's sophisticated technology could be exploited by Tehran or shared with other American rivals.
It was unclear whether the drone's mission took it over Iran or whether it strayed there accidentally because of technical malfunctions, the official said.
Though the drone flight was a CIA operation, U.S. military personnel were involved in flying the aircraft, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the secrecy involved.
The jet-powered, bat-winged RQ-170 Sentinel drone is considered one of the most advanced in the U.S. arsenal, with stealth technology and sophisticated computer systems that enable it to penetrate deep into hostile territory without detection.
Its capabilities were demonstrated during the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan, where it provided surveillance of the operation.
The aircraft's full abilities are a closely guarded secret, and the Pentagon has not revealed its price tag, size or top speed. But it has acknowledged this: The Sentinel may now be in Iranian hands.
"I think we're always concerned when there's an aircraft, whether it's manned or unmanned, that we lose, particularly in a place where we're not able to get to it," Navy Capt. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said to reporters Monday.
(Excerpt) Read more at orlandosentinel.com ...
I thought drones were trained to withstand torture...
BECAUSE IT'S IN THE NEWS as if it was a car crash on I-95.
I'm sure this is/was self destruct hardware on board. We're not that stupid.
I think this was a intelligence coup for the Chicoms, Russians, and Iranians. I don't believe the official story in the least. Iranians shoot down a stealth drone and recover it mostly intact? BS, they got that thing delivered gift wrapped. All that was missing is the bow.
Decades and billions of dollars worth of stealth tech delivered in a day. Great job Obama!!!
If it’s the LA Times, you can add “We Hope” to that headline.
"Why do I doubt this?? BECAUSE IT'S IN THE NEWS as if it was a car crash on I-95."
Or it could be the LA Times gloating over it.
It smells for another reason: Why not use a predator or global hawk in that area? What real advantages did this aircraft bring to the field there? If the story is true, the answer to that last question may also reveal what, exactly it was doing there.
Is it just me that thinks it is insanity that this thing not only landed itself but did so in enemy territory and was not destroyed either by design or a nice 500 pounder from an aircraft.
The CIA? Well, I think the middle initial needs changing.
First thing I thought of was , “Oh yeah! That sounds like the ol’ Trojan Horse routine to me.” Whatever it was, was probably taken back to the darkest recesses of the pajama factory where they reverse engineer stuff. So we now know where to pin point the first strike.
I could be wrong but that was my first thought. That software is pre-programmed as to what to do if contact with pilot is lost. AS was said above. we aint that stupid.
Aviation Week postulates that these elements suggest the designers have avoided ‘highly sensitive technologies’ due to the near certainty of eventual operational loss inherent with a single engine design and a desire to avoid the risk of compromising leading edge technology
We know there were a couple of explosions in the last few days. Maybe picking up air quality data??? PLUS pictures. Seems reasonable.
They don't have any hostages.
They don't have any hostages.
Piece this thing together with Radio Shack junk, remote control parts and some completely made-up non-funtioning supercool looking chips, then "lose" it over Iran.
Maybe I'm optimistic, but could we really be putting up truly cutting edge stuff without a self-destruct feature?
1. If the drone really fell into Iranian (i.e., Russkie, Chicom) hands, then its stealth technology wasn't really that good after all.
2. Maybe the Chicoms will sell us their copies of the drones at a cheaper price than we pay for them now.
3. The U.S. ahould only have "self-destruct stealth technology" drones fly into enemy territory.
4. The U.S. could have put all kinds of "super-secret," "stealth," and "sensitive materials" stickers on a non-stealthy drone and flown it into enemy territory to be shot down, thus confusing the enemy on our capabilities.
5. In order to get the chance to investigate the drone, the Chicoms will trade all kinds of military know-how and kgs of special nuclear material to the Iranians only to discover, when they check out the drone's electronics, the parts are all "Made in China."
The pilot probably feels its pain.
I visited Langley in 1988. If you’re ever in the area, it’s worth the stop.
Why did not the drone self destruct before the enemy got his hands on it, like in the 1960’s TV show “Misson Impossible”? I smell a rat.
Under the current administration I seriously doubt that there will be any "first strike", unless a field grade officer goes rogue. I can't imagine Obama or any of his flunkies authorizing one.
—The U.S. could have put all kinds of “super-secret...—
All of our good stuff is double-super-secret. The Iranians know that and would not be fooled. ;-)
You’re too funny..
Here’s something which I got earlier in an email on John Travolta & an ordinary, presumably, Chinese guy in the US, *almost* same groove!
Btw, J. Travolta, I think was (in the dance) absolutely Amazing. — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNTyePMEKJs&feature=related
What was it doing with Obama’s college records and Indonesian citizenshp papers in it?
Is it me or each time a Dem is in power a stealth aircraft or team falls in the hands of the enemy?
F117 in kosovo with Clinton, Balckhawk down, the heli involved in Bin Laden, Seal Team6 crash and now the Beast of Kandahar RQ170 itself?
Redistribution of wealth and murder by Zero with a “hate the American” axe.
“We want you to be successful” eeh eeh eeh... “Islam is peace”... “ I can see a soul in Putin” eeh eeh eeh...
If the Iranians captured it intact, they would already be posing around it and posting photos to embarrass us.
That UAV has so many stealth features the Iranians couldn’t acquire the target. Why haven’t the Iranians how they shot it down, their air force would be braying like a pack of mules if they had done it.
It also has a self destruct feature. It also can not be jammed and redirected, yup, we thought of that.
What if the Iranians were, say, doing a lot of strange digging and we needed a closer look that satellites couldn’t deliver. What if that UAV went OOPS! out of control and just happened to stray over that area until it ran out of fuel.
OK, we’ve learned a bit since Frances Gary Powers...........
The LA Times with Obama is hoping Russia, Iran and China will now “community organize” to figure together America’s secrets...
Who knows, maybe the French are involved too...
"Maybe I'm optimistic, but could we really be putting up truly cutting edge stuff without a self-destruct feature?"
We already lost the downed stealth helicopter in the OBL raid.
I don’t believe the Iranian claim they shot it down...it must fly high, and is supposed to avoid radar. I’m a little skeptical the Iranians would know it crashed, or even be able to find it. But my biggest question - doesn’t our Air Force destroy downed planes...i.e. find it, and bomb it? The whole thing seems odd.
Hmm, sounds like somebody I can trust.
Were Bush still in office, the “media” would’ve splashed all over itself creating the narrative about the “incompetence” of the administration is failing to safeguard sensitive military technology.
"That UAV has so many stealth features the Iranians couldnt acquire the target. Why havent the Iranians how they shot it down, their air force would be braying like a pack of mules if they had done it."
The Iranians seem to be backtracking now on that claim that they shot it down:
"...Some initial reports out of Iran suggested the drone had been shot down. But the semiofficial Fars news agency, which is close to Iran's Revolutionary Guard, quoted a military official as saying that Iran's electronic-cyber warfare unit had managed to take control of the aircraft and bring it "under their possession."...
Iranian officials identified the aircraft as an RQ-170 Sentinel stealth drone, which is made by Lockheed Martin. The United States has not confirmed using the Sentinel, although at least one was reportedly monitoring Osama bin Laden's compound...
Iranian news agencies did not immediately publish images of the allegedly downed craft."
UNLESS... the drone was crashed on purpose so it could be tracked maybe with full video and audio...
“quoted a military official as saying that Iran’s electronic-cyber warfare unit had managed to take control of the aircraft and bring it “under their possession.”...”
I’m sure the communications were encrypted, so I suspect data communications were blocked by some kind of brute broadband interference, causing the drone to malfunction. A powerful transmitter, or maybe some kind of EMP device?
I think the Iranians should hurry up and download all the programs from the drone’s computers as soon as possible, for analysis.
or they just bought the codes from some type of cyber traitor ...of the usual proclivities... if not simply bought from obama.
I think the Iranians should hurry up and download all the programs from the drones computers as soon as possible, for analysis.
Sounds like the tactic being used was stolen from the film Independence Day.
Did you see this?
Yet its creators may still have other irons in the fire, thanks to Conficker, which lies dormant in millions of PCs around the globe in strategic locations such as Iran, China, Russia, India and Pakistan.
“Conficker represents the largest cyber army in the world,” Bumgarner said. “These soldiers are just waiting for their next mission.”
Project dronewalker. I like it. :)
But just like all the other “walker” programs, it won’t lead to any arrests.
Who is the CiC, again?
He said it's difficult to believe that Iran could have brought down the aircraft with electronic jamming or by taking the controls through a cyber attack as the country claims it did. "You never say never, but I would be gob-smacked and amazed if they even knew how," Gambold said.
"If the Iranians captured it intact, they would already be posing around it and posting photos to embarrass us...It also has a self destruct feature. "
Update: It's intact.
"A senior U.S. official has confirmed to Fox News that images aired by Iranian state television do in fact show the secret U.S. drone that went down last week in eastern Iran.
"Yep, that's it," the official told Fox News. "And it's intact."