Did Iran just down a US drone by 'spoofing'? (+video)
Iran claims it captured a US drone in its airspace, which the US denies. If true, Iran may have brought the drone down by jamming signals and reconfiguring its GPS coordinates.
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"The problem with Iran is they cry wolf a lot, and we never know what to believe, and people get desensitized to real information," says Tyler Rogoway, who publishes the AviationIntel.com website from Portland, Ore.Skip to next paragraph
Latin America Editor
Whitney Eulich is the Monitor's Latin America editor, overseeing regional coverage for CSMonitor.com and the weekly magazine. She also curates the Latin America Monitor Blog.
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"But when you have a fairly serious commander that runs their aerospace division, and he goes into these specific details – not these large, overreaching triumphant [declarations] – he's talking about real things ... that's a message to the [US] government, 'Hey, we caught you.’"
Last month Iran complained to the United Nations of eight violations of its airspace by US planes, and on Nov. 8 the Pentagon reported the first known instance of a warplane firing on a US drone after Iran shot at a Predator drone flying over the Gulf two weeks prior.
Other nations use same model
AP reports that Navy Spokesman Cmdr. Jason Salata said operations in the Persian Gulf are "confined to internationally recognized water and airspace," casting doubt on Iranian claims.
Salata also noted that other nations in the area, including the United Arab Emirates, use the same model of ScanEagle drones.
The US has been using “stealth drones” since the 1990s and in combat for the past decade, according to Foreign Policy. The online version of the policy magazine reported yesterday that France recently joined the US as “the second nation in the world to (publicly) fly a stealth [Unmanned Aerial Vehicle].” Though other countries may not be far behind.
The U.S. and France aren't the only countries making stealth drones. U.K.-based BAE Systems is hard at work producing the Taranis, while Russia's MiG is trying to field a stealth UAV called the Skat, seriously. Meanwhile, you can bet China will unveil a stealth UAV in the near future.