Print 36 comment(s) - last by fteoath64.. on Dec 16 at 4:03 AM

RQ-170 Sentinel  (Source:
However, a Lexington Institute analyst said that all signs point to the RQ-170 Sentinel as the missing drone

Analysts and Pentagon officials have placed serious doubts on Iran's claims to have shot down a stealthy U.S. aircraft earlier this week, saying that the craft likely experienced mechanical malfunctions instead.

On Sunday, Iran claimed that its military shot down a stealthy unmanned RQ-170 Sentinel reconnaissance aircraft which is now in its possession. Iran later said that it used a cyber attack to bring the aircraft down, and that it is "largely intact," but it has not provided any evidence of either claim.

According to Lexington Institute analyst Loren Thompson, there was no evidence that the drone was brought down using physical activity. Thompson added that using cyber warfare to bring down the aircraft was unlikely as well because it is a stealth drone.

"It would be almost impossible for Iran to shoot down an RQ-170 because it is stealthy; therefore, the Iranian air defenses can't see it," said Thompson. "Partly for the same reason, it is exceedingly unlikely that they used a cyber attack to bring down the aircraft."

While the Pentagon may disagree with how the drone was brought down, it's not arguing that an aircraft is indeed missing. U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jimmie Cummings, spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)-Afghanistan, said that he cannot confirm if the missing aircraft is a RQ-170.

However, Thompson said that all signs point to the RQ-170 Sentinel as the missing drone. He added that the Sentinel likely malfunctioned and crashed, and was probably not shot down or attacked in any way by Iran. The fact that the drone was lost indicates that there was likely a software problem.

If this is the case, Iran has a useless weapon on its hand. Many worried that the Iranian military could extract secrets behind U.S. military technologies by possessing the drone, but with hardware or software malfunctions, the aircraft is useless in providing what they're looking for.

Even if the Sentinel is useless at this point, the crash has raised doubts about the use of unmanned stealth drones and their abilities.

Source: Defense News

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Useless?
By AssBall on 12/7/2011 1:07:23 PM , Rating: 4
Well they probably could infer some things from it, and even reverse engineer it a little bit, but the fact remains is that Iran isn't even close to having the technology to replicate it. They'd have to sell it to China or something.

RE: Useless?
By bah12 on 12/7/2011 1:27:00 PM , Rating: 2
Which is most likely what they will do. Iran talks a big game, but doesn't really want a direct conflict with us. However they will do all they can to make our lives difficult, so selling this to China would be a good start.

The Chinese are by far the biggest pink elephant in the room no one wants to talk about. They have the funds and resources to actually do something with this tech, and whatever that is it wouldn't be very good for us in the long run. But hey by now they've probably hacked the DOD enough, that they don't need to reverse engineer it, they probably have the full plans :)

RE: Useless?
By Cypherdude1 on 12/8/2011 3:27:19 AM , Rating: 1
Incredible. The US practically gave the Iranians one of our top secret technologies. If it wasn't ready for deployment, why did the US use it? It appears that Lockheed Martin or the USAF pushed for deployment too quickly and now the Iranians have it. I can't even believe it.

Perhaps Lockheed Martin or the USAF wanted to give the Iranians a Christmas gift.

It's enough to take your breath away.

RE: Useless?
By geddarkstorm on 12/7/2011 1:29:07 PM , Rating: 2
That's what we worry about.

Just the stealth coating and airframe/engine technologies alone are not something we want in any one else's hands.

But hey, that's the nature of the world and nations--everyone is always getting their hands on everyone else's technology eventually. Just a matter of if they have the know how and manufacturing sophistication to replicate what they find (or the want to do so). The arms race never ends.

Only problem here is this may be our current top of the line tech, which means we won't surpass it for awhile, and could leapfrog someone like China much closer to us.

RE: Useless?
By autoboy on 12/7/2011 2:25:16 PM , Rating: 3
If we even know the name of the drone then it isn't our top tech. Still, the coatings and general design of the aircraft are bad to have in enemy hands but the engine design in this thing probably isn't anything new.

RE: Useless?
By nafhan on 12/7/2011 3:49:47 PM , Rating: 2
Agree. I'd also say that much of the technology that's going to be hard to replicate is not even in the drone at all.

For instance:
1. the systems integration stuff and the factories that go into building something like this
2. the infrastructure for using and controlling advanced drones (having the drone is kind of like listening to one side of a phone call)

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes

Latest Headlines

Most Popular ArticlesAre you ready for this ? HyperDrive Aircraft
September 24, 2016, 9:29 AM
Leaked – Samsung S8 is a Dream and a Dream 2
September 25, 2016, 8:00 AM
Yahoo Hacked - Change Your Passwords and Security Info ASAP!
September 23, 2016, 5:45 AM
A is for Apples
September 23, 2016, 5:32 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki