Iranian TV shows downed US drone

BBC: "Iranian TV has broadcast footage of an advanced US drone aircraft that Tehran says it brought down using electronic methods to override its controls."

Does anyone else remember the story in the back of Vaughn Bode's Junkwaffel comic book about intelligent drones that kept fighting long after the humans were gone? I thought of that comic while watching this.


  1. There’s a hot,  loose cannon, lady Iranian fighter pilot inside it manipulating its guts and tendons as we speak.

  2. I think this is a booby trap – 
    in 3 hours stage 2 begins and a cylon busts out of that thing and wrecks Iran’s day.

    1. And still one has to wonder how the Iranians developed TV shows powerful enough to down unmanned aircraft. 

    2. Is it U.S. or U.N.? I’m so confused. 

      Downed could be used, but subjective. If it’s true they “took control” of the drone, then they “captured” it….right?

      In your defense, the military version of “downed”, is incorrectly used here. One wrestler can “take down” another wrestler, therefore one wrestler “downed” the other. No injury is needed. 

      I agree with you, the title needs a re-write. 

      Iranian TV shows captured U.S. drone.

      But, what kind of drone is it? A spy drone? A fighter drone? Was it equipped with weapons?

      Maybe we can trade one aircraft for another ala U2 and Gary Powers?

        1. There are a lot of Lugers in the U.S.; Does that  mean Germans are doing all the killing? 

          If I got bit by a Russian Wolf hound, is it the Russians fault?

          But then again, you said “If you think” … I don’t think that, but I now a lot of other countries fight under the U.N. umbrella. If you don’t know that, then you’ve misunderstood a lot too. 

          True, the UN does not maintain it’s own force, it’s made up of member countries. How many times have we heard “U.N. forces”?  And the U.N. is all over the net in rebuking Iran and it’s nuclear programs. So it’s not that unrealistic to form the opinion that the drone, although U.S. “owned”, could easily be deployed for U.N. purposes. 

          1. “Is it U.S. or U.N.?”

            that’s an ‘or’. A OR B. To now say A ~and~ B while trying to gain traction by not actually pointing out logical flaws in what i didn’t say sorta proves my point about your confusion.

  3. Dear Mister Ahmadinejad:
    My name is Sam. I am very sorry that my plane landed on your property. If someone landed their plane on my property I would be very mad at them too. My plane was very expensive and was a present from my Uncle Lockheed. If you give it back to me I promise to never play around your place again, EVER. I will only play on my own side of the street. I also promise that I will not mess around with all of that plutonium you have over by the bird bath.Your Friend; Sammy

    1. the speed of increasing number of invasions led by US is currently surpassing those led by Natsies during their entire history. I think its time to stop this monster before it brings another and may be the last world war to our planet. Iran cannot bring that fate to this planet. not in a million years. only US has capability and long practice of destroying the world. But alarmingly the people from US are so ignorant of this world, we cannot hope that they can stop their govt from doing this democratically. I mean a country that elects a moron (bush) their president and does it twice.. ? no hope.

  4. I like their little flag banner with the stars replaced with skull pictures.  I bet if someone did it properly and had 50 little skulls on it instead of six big ones and put a big silkscreen of it on a shirt it’d sell well amongst the disaffected.

      1. New York, New England, California, Texas, Flyover Country, Bible Belt. I’m not sure where Disneyland fits in, but I think it’s a district and not really a state.

    1. For a country supposedly trying to be taken seriously on the world stage, that flag looks like something a 13-year-old would scrawl on their Trapper Keeper.

      1. Couldn’t you say the same thing about the Trump debate, or the FDA overruling their own scientists in hopes of ‘thumper votes?

  5. Very scary. The Chinese bought a Stealth Fighter that had crashed in Bosnia and reverse engineered it. I hate to think how much free technology we have just handed to the Iranians. Or maybe they will sell it to China or Russia. This can’t end well.

    1. Not much, i can’t get the link right now (don’t remember where i found it) but this particular drone is rather outdated and despite its shape is not really much of a stealth aircraft (too many flat surfaces). Basically this was a rather large, somewhat stealthy remote control airplane with a camera. Nothing to get worried about.


        1. Thanks for the mockery but have you read up on what this actually is? Sure diplomatically an politically this is awkward but militarily it is small potatoes. Inform yourself before you make fun of people, it looks better.

    2. I see a lot of artist’s renditions of hypothetical Chinese aircraft.

      They bought an old aircraft carrier from Russia to show how strong they are.  They’re building a massive damn to show how prosperous.  They had to have a bullet train so they could show that they are as technologically advanced as the Japanese.  It crashed.  Now I hear rumblings of manned moon missions.

      It’s “me too” status, and transparently so.  When they stop copying other countries achievements from 40 years ago I’ll be scared.

      1. How about jumping ahead 40 years instead? Like oh, I don’t know, quickly becoming the world leader in alternative forms of energy? Oh, wait, they’re already etc. etc.

      2. At their current rate of “Ooh, we can do that too!” achievements it won’t be long before they release their own social networking site. And maybe a Flipboard knockoff just for good measure.

      3. As millie fink pointed out, China is winning in terms of non-petroleum energy.  Far more worrying, China is winning in terms of coal technology.  We’ve already hit peak oil; supply won’t grow but demand sure will, it probably won’t take more than a couple decades before oil is prohibitively expensive to freely use as fuel the way we do now.

        But there’s still plenty of coal and China is putting more R&D effort and have made for progress than we have on using coal for energy.  In particular, they’ve put much more investment into gasifying coal which makes coal-powered electrical plants more efficient and is probably related to whatever technology will be needed to make fuel for vehicles out of coal.  Which means that when coal is the primary source of energy world-wide China will have a huge economic and military advantage over the U.S.

    3. Reverse engineering a stealth fighter is a lot more difficult than it seems. China’s version hasn’t even been proven to actually…you know, evade radar yet. It’s one thing to take a carbon-fiber wing, another entirely to know how to actually recreate it.

      As for this drone, Iran might be (once again) full of shiite:

    4. Balance of power = less chance of war. It’s probably a very good thing for Iran/China to build up their military capabilities.

      This is, incidentally, why one can make a strong argument that it would be a very positive thing for the world for Iran to have nukes.

      1. You may have a point, but it doesn’t apply in all cases, and definitely NOT in the case of Iran. Balance of power can lead to some form of stasis between nations, but only when each side possesses a reasonably accurate awareness of the other’s value judgments and probable reactions to their own actions. In the case of the cold war, the Soviets and the Western powers, in general, had that awareness of each other. MAD was based on the assumption of largely rational calculation of risk on both sides. In the case of Iran, the powerful factions fighting for control within that country include viewpoints utterly without a rational calculation of risk, and with wildly different value judgments from principled western societies. Every technological capability Iran has stolen, bought or developed has consistently been applied to hostility, with an eye toward expanding their influence in the pursuit of Ahmadinejad’s mystically distorted vision of Iran’s supposed return to the glory of their Persian heritage, mixed with radical Islam. You’re actually going to suggest with a straight face that arming this regime with nuclear weapons is a good idea? I can’t imagine you’ll be taken seriously.

      1. How messed up are you that you think Iran is a suitable high five recipient?

        Iran is entirely the product of US intervention. We overthrew a democratic government to install the Shah’s father as a puppet regime. We propped up the Shah’s brutally repressive regime. We manipulated their internal politics so that, when the revolution happened, the relatively moderate Mujaheddin were massacred by the far more radical Fedayeen, leading to the establishment of the Islamic Republic. We armed Iraq to fight them in the Iran-Iraq War.

        If we didn’t want to produce a killer mutant baby, we should have kept our pants zipped.

        1.  Your facts aren’t contentious, but those things occurred 20-30 years ago. Yes, we are responsible for setting in motion the state that currently exists, but ultimately the bastards who control it are responsible for the road they continue to travel.

          1. Spoken like a true 1776 ignorant American. 

            Iran has been around since 600 years before Christ, and 2,300 years  before the Declaration of Independence. Now take your 30 years and figure it out;  30 years equals one-hundredth (.01) of their history. 

            2011 – 1776 /30 is about 13%

            So if we American can’t learn something from 13% of our history, shame on us. But that’s a world view, right?

            If Iran can’t change something from .01% of their history, there’s a reason why, it’s their world view too, and A.M. is saying that we messed with that. And we’ve messed with something we will never understand; over 2 thousand years of history compared to our measly 235. 

          2. …but those things occurred 20-30 years ago.

            The people who were in their 20s then are only in their 40s and 50s now. How long would it take you to stop being bitter if you were maimed or saw your parent/sibling/child killed in a war caused by western intervention?

          3. antinous is detailing something that happened 30 years ago that was influenced by something that happened 26 years prior to that, which means that what you just said would have sounded right at home 30 years ago, and yet here it is being said again.

        2. The Iranian peoples (nee Persians) have been around since the late Bronze Age. The U.S. government, which is not yet 250 years old, only recently messed with their government. You did not produce Iran, you merely pissed in its punch bowl.

        3. So we agree that Iran is a killer mutant baby. Essentially, what you have done is tacitly support the defeat of US military apparatus at the hands of an open and active enemy of the USA. Can I be facetious? Why not just clap every time a GI gets shot by an insurgent, trained in Iran, equipped by Syria and hosted by Pakistan. Because as much as you go on about the West influencing the affairs of foreign nations, you blithely ignore that they have been completely autonomous for some time now and wish and practice ill on the US. Iran is not the country you want to be in possession of your military hardware. Even a shitty drone like the one above.

          1. Iran is not the country you want to be in possession of your military hardware.

            Pro tip: then don’t fly them over their country.

          2. “Pro tip: then don’t fly them over their country”.

            Dangerous countries that actively seek out ways to attack you but not attract blame are the very example of a nation that needs some spying on. I’m not sure whether Antinous is naive or purposefully ignoring how bat-shit crazy Iranian foreign policy is and that the administration there keep themselves pretty busy financing terrorist organisations.

            Maybe I’m crazy. But the last time I checked, BoingBoing moderators get their hipster skinny jeans in a knot just imagining a conservative religious dictatorship in America. Yet, here Antinous is throwing metaphorical high fives at one of the most oppressive regimes about. Man, get a grip. But kudos on the obnoxious internet meme. Really fleshed out your understanding of international politics.

          3. Maybe I’m crazy. But the last time I checked, BoingBoing moderators get their hipster skinny jeans in a knot just imagining a conservative religious dictatorship in America…But kudos on the obnoxious internet meme. Really fleshed out your understanding of international politics.

            Right back at you. Did you read my comment about the substance of US/Iran relations since the 1940s?

          4. Yes, read your hefty post that succinctly summed up everything. But you’re equivocating for Iran’s most contempory actions when as a sovereign nation it should be fully held accountable. I never justified the political meddling or motives of US foreign policy, so don’t lump me in with the jingoists and patriotic sympathisers.

            So let’s blame everything that has happened up til now in the middle east on US interventions. Let’s just do that and then ask hypothetically the question: ‘at what point do we start to actually blame Iran for its actions and have legitimate reason to put spy drones in it’s airspace?’ When does the killer mutant child reach the age of consent and moral awareness that we begin seeing its state sponsored terrorism as not anyone elses fault? Whenever that is, can we start keeping a wary eye on them then?

          5. Iran hates us because we’ve been messing with them for more than half a century. We’re still messing with them.

            Do you know what they say about people who keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result? Hint: it’s not very flattering.

          6. On your last point and on the historical facts, I can’t disagree with you. But Iran is not just sitting there, the eternal victim of international slings and arrows. It has founded and still supports terrorist organisations, it openly pursues nuclear power (which I battle to believe wont be weaponised), Ayatollah Khomenei has said before that the Islamic Revolution is on a collision course with Israel. Iran is a bully. Just because he got a punch in on another bully, doesn’t make him any more likeable or high-five… er… able.

    1. You’ll note that the article specifically refers to video feeds, NOT the control signal.

      Our military might do some dumb shit from time to time, but there’s no way they’d use unencrypted control signals on a drone aircraft.

      1. These drones have been flying over Iran, Afghanistan and Iraq for more than a decade now, all places where the Iranians could watch and record them with relative ease. It’s not impossible that they finally figured out the codes, with some good cryptanalysis and intelligence (assume Iraq is basically swamped with Iranian spies, because it is).

        This said, they wouldn’t have used those flags if there wasn’t any damage underneath, so I don’t think they really hijacked it, they probably just got lucky with a pot shot and a soft landing surface.

    1. Alastair Reynolds has an awesome short story in the same vein, it’s the first thing I read of his and was so great I vowed to buy every book he ever writes. I think he still has it on his website, if not teh googles can find it

    2. I submit to you _Mark Elf_ by Cordwainer Smith.

      Carlotta stared at the machine. It had legs like a grasshopper, a body like a ten-foot turtle, and three heads which moved restlessly in the moonlight.

      From the forward edge of the top shell a hidden arm leapt forth, seeming to strike at her, deadlier than a cobra, quicker than a jaguar, more silent than a bat flitting across the face of the moon.

      “Don’t!” Carlotta screamed in German. The arm stopped suddenly in the moonlight.

      The stop was so sudden that the metal twanged like the string of a bow.

      The heads of the machine all turned toward her.

      Something like surprise seemed to overtake the machine. The whistling dropped down to a soothing purr. The electronic chatter burst up to a crescendo and then stopped. The machine dropped to its knees.

      Carlotta crawled over to it.

      Said she in German, “What are you?”

      “I am the death of all men who oppose the Sixth German Reich,” said the machine in fluted singsong German. “If the Reichsangehõriger wishes to identify me, my model and number are written on my carapace.”

      The machine knelt at a height so low that Carlotta could seize one of the heads and look in the moonlight at the edge of the top shell. The head and neck, though made of metal, felt much more weak and brittle than she expected. There was about the machine an air of immense age.

      “I can’t see,” wailed Carlotta. “I need a light.”

      There was the ache and grind of long-unused machinery. Another mechanical arm appeared, dropping flakes of near-crystallized dirt as it moved. The tip of the arm exuded light, blue, penetrating, and strange.

      Brook, forest, small valley, machine, even herself, were all lit up by the soft penetrating blue light which did not hurt her eyes. The light even gave her a sense of well-being. With the light she could read. Traced on the carapace just above the three heads was this inscription: 


      And then below it in much larger Latin letters: 


  6. I have poked around a bit and compiled a few of the more interesting theories about this.

    First off that it wasn’t “hacked”, but most likely lands itself when it looses connection. In fact there are hints of that being the case even with the older generation drones. The fact that the bottom is covered indicates that the Iranians didn’t make a controlled landing as they claim. It has landing gear, so they figured out how to fly it, but not activate that? I suspect serious damage to the undercarriage.

    More interestingly though is that there was some talk of this idea on Slashdot as well. What if its a Trojan Horse of some sort? The instant some Chinese, Iranian or Russian tech plugs into that USB port, Stuxnet-2.0 open doors for us.

    Another idea floating around is that this model pictured is actually a bondo’d replica and the actual drone has already been sold, taken apart and bid off. This did “crash” a while ago.

    1. Especially since they felt the need to screen the lower sections, might be evidence that they recovered from a crash landing rather than piloting it down themselves.

    2. In response to your observation regarding a Trojan Horse I think this is extremely likely and quite clever. I can’t imagine the US would be stupid enough to let something like this happen accidentally. Why would you make is so easy for sophisticated technology to fall into the wrong hands? 

      At any given time there are probably numerous aircraft of this sort monitoring different areas around the world without incident. A loss of this kind is highly unlikely to take place, especially with something so top secret. Even in the unlikely event that a drone is lost there would most definitely be a contingency plan built into drone aircraft to counter the risk. 

      The lack of chatter from the Pentagon makes sense if they really want to “sell” this as an embarrassing situation. Leaving the captors to believe we are scrambling around trying to figure out what to do when in fact we’re just waiting  for them to take the bait. Inevitably during analysis some unsuspecting engineer will be  plugging into a virus laced piece of equipment granting us entry into their closed networks. No coincidence that Iran has just recently made its intentions clear regarding alarming nuclear ambitions.

      1. re: ” I can’t imagine the US would be stupid enough to let something like this happen accidentally.”

        Wait – what? This is the nation that, according to many, is completely screwed up from top to bottom with an inept government. This is the nation where “military intelligence” is an oxymoron. And yet you doubt some how they could lose a drone some how?

        And it isn’t “so top secret” – it has been known and photographed for years. Tac Blue, or the F-117 and U-2 early on in their service were top secret, with most people having no idea what we had.

      2.  Do you not remember the prototype(?) stealth Black Hawk that malfunctioned and was scrapped during the Bin Laden raid? Advanced technology can still malfunction.

        1. There was no malfunction.  The chopper  was caught in its own backwash due to the high wall surrounding the compound.   This is basic physics and would have happened to any chopper in the same situation

      3. I’m not saying the claim that “this event shows so much incompetence it must be intentional” is a troll, but it’s so rich in creamy trollness, it could be if you had wanted it to be.

    3. I wrote a long rant about this, but then the cat came to sleep on my keyboard and all sorts of bad things happened to it. Not going to retype it.

      The TL;DR of it was: The Trojan horse idea is stupid. Especially if this is what the military actually did. Because it would still require we use a sophisticated guided drone as a delivery device… that they get to keep.

      Way to set them back.

  7. On a tangent: Is there any sci-fi idea that Phillip K Dick didn’t do first? 1955, “Autofac.” Automated factories in post-apocolyptic America continue to produce for a decimated population, battle over rare materials, and finally shoot mini-self replicating factories into space.

  8. …comic book about intelligent drones that kept fighting long after the humans were gone…

    Step 1: Make sure both sides have intelligent drones. (Check!)

    1. Looks like its wings were sawed with a sawzall then stuck back together with white duct tape.

      Are you passing classified tech information to the enemy?

  9. Let me guess, a bunch of anime robots sneak out when they are all asleep and take over the kingdom?  If not, heck of catch on their part.

  10. The Iranians didn’t down it. The drone actually defected to the enlightened Islamic Republic of Iran in search of religious and democratic freedoms that it could not enjoy in the corrupt and decadent United States. The story about it being ‘downed’ is something that the Iranians put out to protect the drone’s friends and family still living in the US from reprisals.

  11. my take on this,  the was drone was used to assess Irans electronic capabilities – you only observed what someone/state is capable of when they really want something. I think the US just got a really good snapshot of Irans cyber-warfare prowess.

    1. Yep, now we’ve got them right were we want them!  Wait’ll we stick them with some of our fighter jets too!

  12. When ol’ Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gets near this thing, robot arms are gonna spring out, tuck him into its belly, and hit the goooo hoooome button.  That’s good ol’ mericaningenuity.

  13. does anyone else remember how the Iranian military isn’t above faking shit to make themselves more awesome than they really are? I’ll hold out on my astonishment until some kind of confirmation.

    1. Are you talking about the “smart missiles” during the Gulf War?  I’m not sure that was the Iranians.

      1. How about welding fuel drums together, taking pictures of it, showing it off to everyone and pretending it’s a sophisticated Russian AA missile system? Or copy-pasting rocket launch trails for their super-awesome-if-it-was-1950 ballistic missiles? :) I don’t pretend to know much about this story, but that thing in the picture looks fishy as hell. Add to that the cheap-looking banners, the color/lighting of the recording and ‘military mesh trucker hat’ sporting officers, and you got something that looks like the “bad guys” in an 80’s A Team episode.

  14. These things should be equipped with powerful loudspeaker and amplifier which can play back menacing messages in case of capture:


  15. …THREE, TWO, ONE.



  16. We have a history of screw-ups. Francis Gary Powers U2 was downed by Russia. The Pueblo, with our latest code gear, was captured and the crew held prisoner. Those at the Iranian Embassy were held hostage.
    I’ve been predicting our exclusive on drones was going to be short lived. I also predict a drone will be brought into the U.S. and used against a target and that will be just the beginning. We’ve given the wrong folks a good idea.

    1. I was starting to imagine the awful things a terrorist group might do with a drone they smuggled into the U.S., but then I realized you could do whatever you wanted with a small civilian aircraft without smuggling anything. It can’t be that hard to place a two-seater Beechcraft under remote control, especially if you don’t have to control it well enough to land it.

      1. Unless you have oddly specific target criteria in mind (i.e. the corner office on the 137th floor) then almost any attack you could pull off with a remote-controlled Beechcraft could be accomplished more effectively with a truck full of explosives.


  18. I remember Junkwaffel well. The Machines series was one of the best. It was a wicked-smart commentary on the culture of perpetual war that was emerging in the American society with Vietnam and has continued to grow to the present day. The machines were a mirror of us, their insanity a synthesis of our own human war insanity. So many great toon robot designs. And the perverse Pogo dialogue was always brilliant. I remember the aerial drones shaped like squat buzz bombs with scuba mask eyes holding out their spindly arms with Mickey Mouse gloves on the end as they flew. In my RPG phase of nerdlinghood I borrowed on these designs  often. They were perfect for games like Paranoia and screwy hacks of OGRE/GEV. Many of Bode’s robots wore overalls or other clothes, apparently to protect their mechanical joints from dirt, and I always thought that would be a smart thing for actual robots. Eventually, that did turn up with the Big Dog. 

  19. I love the pro-usa rhetoric in the post (IE ‘an insignificant piece of tech’, ‘no way the Iranians got a hold of it in a controlled landing’, ‘good chance it’s a TROJAN HORSE’). Gahh. Persia has been around for a touch longer than the U Suck Eh. I’m guessing thinly-veiled jingoism most likely indicates second-rate astroturfing, or grade A social programming. Enjoy.
    Post Script: No trolls here, just not american AND a bit observant…

      1. Considering the relative military expenditures of Iran and the US it is not necessarily arrogant to say that the US has superior military tech, it is in fact almost inevitable that a country of the wealth and resources of the US would be more advanced than one of Iran’s resources. They are not stupid but there are less of them and they have less money.

    1. ” Persia has been around for a touch longer than the U Suck Eh. ”

      So have the Native Americans.

      genre slur, it is in no way Jingo-istic to do a simple math calculation about how many more times the US spends on defense than Iran spends on its defense.  Last I checked, it was 85.  But that was a year ago or so.

      The real world does not care how old your culture is, rather how many cruise missiles you have.  

      And I’m a freaking pacifist who thinks we (the US) should halve our defense spending.  Look, you got me all riled up.

      1. “The real world does not care how old your culture is, rather how many cruise missiles you have. ”

        I agree, but Stalin vs the Pope didn’t really end well for the armoured divisions ;)

  20. There is no chance Iran will get much out of this other than propaganda. They can take measurements, etc, but when it comes to the custom high tech materials, they won’t have a clue how to make them. Same with the circuitry etc. It’s not like you can order a replacement mother board for a drone. China has been trying to copy it and they haven’t cludged it together as well.

    1. I remember the memorial on the back of RBCC with a bunch of his characters, including one of the young ladies you’re referencing, but also several of his robots, and Cheech Wizard, with the balloon saying “God is DEAD!”

      I still have all the Junkwaffles and Cheech Wizards and a few RBCC’s around… the only comics I saved from my misspent youth.

  21. Wings? Can someone tell me where the wings were supposed to be? Or was that supposed to be a wing? Dimensions at that scale are totally wrong for something that travels under 600 mph. Even then the cross-section is way too fat compared to anything else that actually flies. Supersonic, it makes even less sense. And, you know, damage. Even if it wasn’t shot down, I doubt they brought Neo in to grok the interface and bring it down on anything like a runway

    How hard would it be to fake a fucking Predator? It’s not like their aren’t a zillion pictures of the damn things to look at.

    1. You’re right, it’s not hard to make a fake drone – except the US said they lost a drone.  Over Iran. That kind right there. They held a news conference that said, “Yes, that looks like ours. Sorry it landed in your yard Mr. Ahmadinejah, can we have it back?”

      ETA – It’s not a Predator, it’s a Sentinel –

      This isn’t like Cold War Russia where if anything went wrong they just denied, denied, denied anything happened at all. It’s one reason we learned of their sacrificed Cosmonauts long after the fact.

      1. Legit is still questionable (lack of damage still bothers me) but at the least it’s a reconstruction of a Sentinel. My bad, didn’t know we had that one in play. The cross-section still bugs me, but I’m not familiar with flying wing design, so I’m backing down. 

    2. In reply to your waffle about its aerodynamics, I suggest you do a Google Images search for RQ-170 Sentinel, or ‘Beast of Karachi’. You’ll get photos of a real one of these, and lots of computer generated pics, plus photos of Reaper and Predator combat drones. Sentinel is purely a surveillance photo-reconnaissance drone, and the one in the pic above looks well dodgy. It’s the wrong colour, it should be light grey, with darker grey national and squadron markings, that mesh across the jet intake nacelle looks totally bogus, and why were the wings sawn off then taped back on in a suspiciously straight line?

  22. What if China actually brought it down ? They knew it existed and they knew that is where it would likely be.  It is satellite controlled not ground controlled. Iran couldn’t do it. China maybe could. Then buy it from Iran.

    I’ll bet that or it was just a equipment failure.

  23. I blame Frauenfelder and all this Maker sh*t!  Damn Iranians prolly cobbled together a tractor beam from an old Direct TV dish, an Altoids can, and a Fresnel lens.

  24. Assuming the drone wasn’t well-shielded, all that’s required to bring it down would be a solid EM pulse. Even if Iran’s tech is 20 years behind the US, that’s more than adequate to build an EMP generator powerful enough to scramble a drone’s brain.

    But the US leadership won’t learn anything. It’ll take an all-out subjugation or deterioration of the country before any kind of positive change will happen.

    1. I’m willing to bet an EM pulse wouldn’t have ‘fried its brains’. Our engineers know about EM interference and know how to shield against it. I’m not in the know but i’d bet its hardened against such attacks. Probably somone in the US f’ed up or the drone just short circuited and crashed. The posturing about it being downed intentionally is what i’m gonna call BS.

      1. Or Iran caught wind of it and jammed the control signal, would not be hard to do and the drones would have programming that gets them out of the sky “safely” if control is lost.

  25. We really ought to have sent a contigent of special forces, a bombing run, or just plain walked in and taken it back. It should not have come to this.

    1. Mr. Strangelove, is that you?

      The minute a GI steps into Iran in full gear, you have a 20-year war on your hand that will make Iraq and Afghanistan look like small potatoes, and that might not end the way you think it will. One drone is extremely cheap in comparison.

  26. Usually capturing a superior, aggressive enemy’s recon unit on your home turf is bad news. Title should probably be restated as “Iran Suddenly Aware We’ve Got Invisible Drones In Their Skies, requests change of pants”

  27. Look to the right of the “hump” on the wing. That covers the left main landing gear. Just a little further out you’ll notice a “seam” that stretches back from the wing leading edge to the trailing edge. That seam is not that pronounced on operational Sentinels. Then there is the matter of the grating across the intake; I can’t confirm that. The shape of the intake is a little odd looking to me as well. So, either this is a real RQ-170, complete with some damage (the seam on the wing; I swear that looks like a strip of tape as well) or the Tehran local IPMS did a great job putting together a model.

  28. Why is Fidel Castro showing off during this downed-drone crisis?  If I were the president, I’d immediately close the US Embassy in La Habana.

    1. I’m willing to bet they had our number real good on this one. Either that or we ‘crashed’ one with an intentionally bad design. But really, the former. 

      1. I was kind of envisioning an Iranian Matthew Broderick with a toy airplane controller accidentally landing it.

  29. I think everyone is exaggerating the affect and substance of this.  Drones go down all the time; that’s the point on having an “un”-manned drone.  They are built relatively cheap (for the US), and usually we have ground troops near to pick them up.  I would be shocked if Russia and China already hadn’t bought a couple of downed drones off the Taliban already.  So no big deal.  Ahkmaoutofmyyard gets his propaganda show, Iranian trolls get their day in the sun, and the US just built 100 more drones in the time it took for this thread to fill with pointless speculation.

  30. Umm, all available tech specs say the wingspan for the RQ-170 is somewhere between 60 and 85-odd feet […].  Assuming these guys in the picture are not well-proportioned giants, this thing being shown looks to be about half that, at best.

  31. Junkwaffel, not Junkwaffle, folks. :)

    I too have all the first edition Junkwaffel comic books, as well as several other comic books by Vaughn Bode. I think should get them out of storage and scan them.

Comments are closed.