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Iran Claims To Have Downed Another US Drone 219

AmiMoJo writes "The Iranian military says it has captured an unmanned U.S. drone aircraft in its airspace over Gulf waters. The Revolutionary Guards said they had brought down a ScanEagle — one of the smaller, less sophisticated drones employed by the Americans. The U.S. said it was looking into the reports." (The U.S. response so far, also reported by Reuters and others, seems to be "We're not missing any drones.")
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Iran Claims To Have Downed Another US Drone

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    The Revolutionary Guards said they had brought down a ScanEagle

    But the movie "Argo []" taught me that Iranian Revolutionary Guards are just bumbling idiots who can't tell their heads from their asses in several completely fabricated scenes! Larry, Moe and Curly have more wherewithal than the Revolutionary Guard! No way they could outsmart American engineering!

    • North Korea found a Unicorn Lair. Iran isn't too far removed from N Korea in the "truth in journalism" arena. I'm not saying it couldn't happen, but pics or it didn't.
      • North Korea found a Unicorn Lair. Iran isn't too far removed from N Korea in the "truth in journalism" arena. I'm not saying it couldn't happen, but pics or it didn't.

        Gawker has a picture. []

        Personally, I think it looks photoshopped, but opinions may vary.

      • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

        Right, except that last time this happened Iran was telling the truth (well, part of it at least) and the US was lying.

      • by wmac1 ( 2478314 )

        How about the video: []

    • by M. Baranczak ( 726671 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @10:46AM (#42178925)

      Actually, "Argo" gave the Guards more credit than they deserved. The movie threw in a lot of fictional Hollywood bullshit to make it look like the diplomats escaped with seconds to spare, with the Guards hot on their tails. In real life, the Guards were completely oblivious - they had no idea it happened until they saw it on TV.

      • by wmac1 ( 2478314 )

        The guards build Iranian long range missiles, satellite carrier, attack helicopters, anti-ship cruise missiles and many more nowadays (check Wikipedia yourself).

        You can ridicule them as much as you want but that won't change anything. Not that I like them but even that won't change anything.

  • by HPHatecraft ( 2748003 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @10:26AM (#42178699)

    CIA: [sounding official] Uh, everything's under control. Situation normal.
    Pentagon: What happened?
    CIA: [getting nervous] Uh, we had a slight weapons malfunction, but uh... everything's perfectly all right now. We're fine. We're all fine here now, thank you. How are you?
    Pentagon: We're sending a squad up.
    CIA: Uh, uh... negative, negative. We had a reactor leak here now. Give us a few minutes to lock it down. Large leak, very dangerous.
    Pentagon: Who is this? What's your operating number?
    CIA: Uh...

  • Drones? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TWX ( 665546 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @10:29AM (#42178735)
    From the summary: "The U.S. response so far, also reported by Reuters and others, seems to be 'We're not missing any drones.'"

    How could any one entity tell? At this point there's the CIA, the FBI, the ATF, the NSA, the SS, the regular Army, the Army Rangers, the Navy, the Marines, the Seals, the Air Force, the Coast Guard, the State Department, the DoD, Mercenaries (ie "Civilian Contractors"), and Sheriff Joe Arpaio all with drones. Could any one entity speak for all of those at this point?
    • Re:Drones? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Bios_Hakr ( 68586 ) <> on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @10:49AM (#42178953)

      Combined Air Operations Center. They'll know. One agency monitoring everything including, but not limited to, commercial airliners, military flights, private planes, U(C)AVs, and even (in some cases) model airplanes and rockets.

      Now, as to if the CAOC would tell Reuters anything other than the time of day, that's anyone's guess.

      • Now, as to if the CAOC would tell Reuters anything other than the time of day, that's anyone's guess.

        My guess is that even the state of the clocks on the walls are classified.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

        Even the top secret CIA ones? They didn't seem to have any data on rendition flights, for example.

      • by wmac1 ( 2478314 )

        Then what happened last time when they denied the capture of RQ-170? They wanted the government to be humiliated?

    • I thought for a moment you'd slipped 'SS' in there as a joke...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by crazyjj ( 2598719 ) *

      If you believe the CIA (and you would have to be a pretty epic moron to), they're not even flying drones over Iran. Do you really think they would admit that one of the drones that they're *not* flying over Iran just got shot down?

      • If Iran produces photos of the drone, then the CIA will argue it was over international waters, not Iranian airspace. You read it here first.
    • I doubt Sherrif Joe is flying anything near Iran. Nor would the Secret Service, NSA, FBI, or ATF. The remaining entities on your list all talk to each other, all share the same airspace, and all report to one authority. This is why we have Combatant Commands. The Commander for U.S. Central Command has authority and cognizance over everything in that theater. Back in the day, like WWII, we had a War Dept and a Dept of the Navy and they didn't work together very well. Now we have one Defense Dept and regio
      • by cusco ( 717999 )
        Yep, and there aren't any cowboy operations, and commanders in the field who "know" better than headquarters, and absolutely no fuck-ups in the chain of command. Nope, no siree, not one . . .
    • by Flytrap ( 939609 )
      Wasn't the response to the loss of the first drone initially similar... that is, until the Iranian's put it on display.

      So, now the waiting game starts... we want visual confirmation before we will admit to having lost yet another drone.
    • I looked up the ScanEagle and found it's from Insitu. The company I work for used to operate the civilian version of the the same drone, and I'm really suprised they would not be missing any, as we used to lose them on a regular basis. They are autonomous drones with no operator required - they are simply pre-programmed with a flight path.
    • and Sheriff Joe Arpaio all withdrones

      If only Iran could down Arpaio...

  • I'd honestly be more concerned if they actually admitted to missing one.
    • It's not missing, it has stealth capabilities so advanced it can even affect inventory systems. The only known countermeasure is counting on your toes.

    • by dk90406 ( 797452 )
      "Not missing any drones" == "All drones accounted for"
      That may well be "200 in our bases and one shoot down and in the water at coordinates (...)."
      It is all a matter of interpretation.
      • "Not missing any drones" may mean "Yeah, it's gone, but I don't miss it. It was always a cruel faithless bitch. It's gone forever, and and I'm, like, FREE, man. Free for the first time in YEARS." <slugs down another bourbon>
    • They will eventually. First they will deny it. Then they will say that the drone experienced mechanical problems and was destroyed and after a while they will recognize that the Iranians really have the drone but they didn't shoot it down or anything, some random problem downed it. At least that's what happened the last time.
  • by DarthVain ( 724186 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @10:37AM (#42178821)

    Those aren't the drones we are looking for. Move along.

  • by kurt555gs ( 309278 ) <kurt555gs AT ovi DOT com> on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @10:38AM (#42178835) Homepage

    Isn't it drone season over there?

  • Maybe Israel . . . ? Or maybe the UK . . . ?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @10:39AM (#42178851)

    Why does anyone care?

    Sorry, I shouldn't be like that. So...let me get the facts straight here. A country that is well known for saber rattling without anything to back it up may or may not have shot down an incredibly slow flying, cheap, pilotless, unstealthed drone that is specifically purpose-built to get shot down so we don't have to risk more expensive planes and pilots. That's it, right?

    Just out of curiosity, how are the Kardashians doing today? I mean as long as we're acting like unimpressive bullshit is news, might as well go all the way.

    Let me know when they shoot down an F-22 Raptor or a B-2 Spirit. Until then, non-news. I mean hell, this is exactly why we use drones in the first place - so we don't have to risk either pilots or much more expensive planes to do this stuff. Let them shoot down 1,000 more for all I care. Just more american workers in american aircraft factories with more work to do. Nobody dies, and it benefits our domestic economy. By all means Iran, PLEASE, shoot down some more easy targets so we can mass-produce some more replacements for them.

  • They shot down their own drone clone.

  • Oh wait, Iran keep photoshopping those. Ok, let's just leave it at "it didn't happen" to save everyone wasting their time.

  • The "captured" ScanEagle drone was clearly not shot down... and its pristine structure indicates that it didn't crash either.

    Doesn't it concern everybody that Iran appears to be able to capture these drones out of the sky and land them fairly intact... with minimal to no exterior damage.

    Does this give credence to Iran's claim that they are able to take over the controls of a drone and land it relatively safely without too much structural damage?

    Is it possible that they could override the controls of a cruis

  • [] has a test facility in Iraq. 7 year old boys are considerably more abusive on flying drones then Iran is.

  • by Koreantoast ( 527520 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @11:25AM (#42179425)
    Just to politely point out that the United States is not the only ScanEagle operator in the region. Several coalition nations including Canada, Poland, Australia and the Netherlands operate ScanEagle platforms and could very well be using them in theater to support operations in Afghanistan. Also, this particular type of drone is not as big of a deal; considering it was originally designed to help fishermen find schools of fish, this isn't exactly the pinnacle of drone technology.
    • Aren't several tankers using these systems to provide advanced warning on Somali pirates? I would be much more curious if it is a military version or a commercial version...

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

      It is a big deal because it shows how the US is actively sending aircraft into Iranian airspace without authorization. Imagine if Iran started flying drones over the US.

      • It isn't a big deal because it's actually airspace over international waters that Iran fantasizes is their national domain.

        Or haven't you heard? Apparently almost the entire Persian Gulf is theirs, because it's Persian.

        They allow international shipping through their Strait of Hormuz out of the beneficience of their kindly hearts.

      • by cusco ( 717999 )
        I hope they'd be smart enough to print 'Google Maps' or something on the side of it before launch.
  • On the one hand, the CIA is not likely to admit they've lost a drone.

    On the other hand, Iran has a well documented history of lying about its accomplishments.

    Hard to determine the truth here...

  • This wouldn't of happened if they had bought from a Gallente design instead of these knock offs.
  • A UAE sheikh complained that some delinquent Iranian children had shot one of his prize eagles and is claiming 10 billion Dirhams blood money...
  • One has to wonder why these machines don't have some form of self-destruct mechanism built in for situations where they are legitimately shot down or otherwise captured.

    Or perhaps it's a nefarious CIA plot to sneak a Stuxnet-like virus into Iran's C&C infrastructure:

    Tech 1: We have successfully downloaded the ROM from the drone into our systems. Allahu-Akbar!

    Tech 2: Huh. Why have our radar and air defense systems suddenty gone off-line?

  • We know exactly where they all are, including the one Iran just captured.

Neutrinos have bad breadth.