Since at least February the Syrian government has been using Iranian-built Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to track and target Free Syrian Army rebels in their strongholds, including Homs and Hamah. Now some fresh commercial satellite imagery provides new details about the drone’s possible tactics and capabilities.
Archived posts from category ‘Iran’
by ROBERT BECKHUSEN It can be hard to tell which announcements from Iran are true, which ones are wish-fulfillment, and which ones are simply Iran trying to keep up with the Joneses. Consider that when you hear the news that Iran is planning to build nuclear submarines. According to Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency, Rear Adm. [...]
The U.S. Air Force is quietly assembling the world’s most powerful air-to-air fighting team at bases near Iran. Stealthy F-22 Raptors on their first front-line deployment have joined a potent mix of active-duty and Air National Guard F-15 Eagles, including some fitted with the latest advanced radars. The Raptor-Eagle team has been honing special tactics for clearing the air of Iranian fighters in the event of war.
Four months after capturing a crashed U.S. stealth drone near the Iran-Afghanistan border, Tehran claims it has hacked into the ‘bot’s classified mission-control system. If true, it could mean Iran is making good on its vow to reverse-engineer the stealthy, Lockheed Martin-built RQ-170 Sentinel spy drone and produce homemade copies.
When one of the U.S. Air Force’s secretive RQ-170 Sentinel stealth drones crashed along the Afghanistan-Iran border in December and wound up in the hands of the Iranians, it did only “limited damage” to a U.S.-led effort to spy on Tehran’s suspected nuclear facilities.
If the U.S. Navy goes to war against Iran, its tiniest ships could play the biggest role. Diminutive minesweepers and coastal patrol boats are being upgraded, rearmed and pushed to the maritime front line in the Persian Gulf. Which is kind of ironic: the bigger-is-better Navy has been trying to get rid of the warships for years.
by ROBERT BECKHUSEN Iran is planning to build drones for the Venezuelan military. Just so you know, it sounds worse than it is. That’s according to Air Force Gen. Douglas Fraser, chief of U.S. forces in South America. According to Fraser, who spoke to reporters in Washington on Wednesday, the drones are to be manufactured [...]
Peter’s Atlantic Round-Up
by PETER VINE United States & Europe The United States unveiled a major refocus in defense policy last week: a shift away from Europe via a major withdrawal of personnel and material from the continent as the U.S. redirects toward Asia. The shift had been trailed for as long as a year with U.S. involvement [...]
Robert’s Latin America Round-Up
by ROBERT BECKHUSEN Iran Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited four countries in Latin America last week. The five-day trip — postponed from September because of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s cancer therapy — brought Ahmadinejad through Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba and Ecuador. Although the trip was overshadowed by the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist last week [...]
The U.S. Air Force is sending a single copy of a brand-new stealth drone to Afghanistan. Only maybe not just Afghanistan.
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.
“Something is really amiss here,” the engineer says. It has been around a week since the U.S. admitted it lost contact with an RQ-170 Sentinel Unmanned Aerial Vehicle over the Iran-Afghanistan border — and two days since Tehran showed off pictures and videos purporting to show the secretive Sentinel mostly intact and being inspected by Iranian officers.