By Brigadier General Mousavi (A military expert at the Center for Strategic Studies in Tehran)
Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran
The controversial U.S. spy drone, which was successfully brought down by the Iranian military in the northeast of the country near the city of Kashmar, is one of the most state-of-the-art espionage instruments in terms of technology and design.
The captured U.S. drone
The drone is capable of conducting top secret missions, including detecting very small amounts of radioactive isotopes and elements, which may indicate the existence of nuclear weapons facilities.
The stealth aircraft is believed to have collected some of the intelligence which facilitated the attack that killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011.
Due to the highly sensitive technology used in the drone, military analysts regard it as one of the most advanced unmanned aerial vehicles in the world.
Iran's electronic warfare unit took control of the UAV and brought it down. The aircraft was detected in Iranian airspace some 225 kilometers from the border with Afghanistan and brought down with minimum damage. The operation was in fact a full-scale, all-out electronic war between Iran and the United States.
Cameras, sensors, and many other parts of the aircraft are intact and undamaged, which provides a good opportunity for Iranian scientists to study them in order to accelerate their technological progress.
Iran already possesses a high level of expertise in the production of unmanned aircraft. The UAVs currently manufactured by Iran's aviation industry are capable of conducting complex missions. The extraction of the RQ-170's encrypted data will allow Iran to achieve more success in this field.
The United States is extremely worried about the possibility that Iran may hand over the aircraft to Russia or China. This would provide two major foes of the U.S. with the most up-to-date expertise for manufacturing UAVs.
However, relying on the vast capabilities of the country's young experts, Iranian officials do not need to turn to Russia or China for help in extracting the encrypted data.
The downing of the spy drone provides a historic opportunity for the Iranian military to upgrade its scientific capabilities.
... Payvand News - 12/16/11 ... --