Sunday, December 4, 2011

Iran Says It Shot Down Unmanned U.S. Plane

Earlier today, Iran claimed to have shot down a unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) fly by the United States. The shoot down allegedly occurred near the border between Iran and Afghanistan. The drone that went down wasn't just any drone but the RQ-170 Sentinel which is a stealth aircraft able to avoid detection by enemy radars.

The attack was later denied by the US claiming while a drone did crash it was due to mechanical failure. An earlier report by Iran that they had shot down back in July proved false.

If the reports are true this time, it means the US has to rethink its stealth technology used in the RQ-170. More than likely, drones have been operating in Iranian airspace gathering intelligence on the potential nuclear weapons program bragged about by Ahmandinejad. The situation is eerily similar to when Francis Gary Powers U-2 was downed by the Soviet Union. The United States thought the U-2 flew high enough to avoid missiles but they were wrong. The presence of US drones in Iran indicates the level of concern Washington has about Iran's nuclear program.

The presence of the drones is likely to ignite further problems for the US after last week's attack in Pakistan that killed two dozen residents. Support for US forces in the region has waned and this latest situation more give more support to Iran.

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