Danger Room: It Won’t Be Easy for Iran to Dissect, Copy U.S. Drone

12.12.11

Categorie: Air, David Axe, Iran, Robots, Wired |
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RQ-170. Via David Cenciotti.

RQ-170. Via David Cenciotti.

by DAVID AXE

Prepare the dissection table. Iran says it’s planning to disassemble its prized acquisition: a CIA-operated drone that apparently crashed on its territory. Its goal: to learn how the drone, apparently a stealth RQ-170 Sentinel, evades radar and how its top-secret sensors work. Which has the U.S. worried about Iran copying its advanced flying robot. ”There is the potential for reverse engineering, clearly,” U.S. Air Force Chief Gen. Norton Schwartz conceded.

But Iran will probably need help from arms exporters Russia and China in breaking down the flying-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) — meaning the RQ-170′s secrets could ultimately fall into the hands of, well, pretty much every country with an interest in sticking it to Uncle Sam. Luckily for Washington, however, reverse-engineering a high-tech drone is easier said than done, according to two UAV designers who spoke to Danger Room on the condition we not print their names.

Late last week Iran released videos and photos (like the one above) purporting to show the captured Sentinel mostly intact. There are questions about the images’ authenticity. It’s possible Iran possesses a more-or-less undamaged RQ-170. But it’ also possible that they’ve got mostly debris on their hands. Obviously, the better the drone’s condition, the easier it will be to examine.

Read the rest at Danger Room.

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One Response to “Danger Room: It Won’t Be Easy for Iran to Dissect, Copy U.S. Drone”

  1. dariush says:

    damn …. why you did it ? i am iranian .
    i just want to know why us government didn’t put a self-destruct on it?
    iranians want to use anti-radar for its nuclear bombs.
    we have a lot problems in this country .
    they hang 200 innocent people in day .
    now a RQ170 in iran.you nuke the place that it’s there.
    it,s the only way if you want to iran never copy of yours.

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