Iran Tests ‘Suicide’ Drone At Entrance To The Persian Gulf
Matt Novak, writing on the website, this evening’s (Sat., Dec. 27, 2014) website GIZOMDO.com, says “Iranian military forces tested various unmanned aircraft that some are calling suicide drones; because “suicide drone” sounded more intimidating than “model airplane we could fly into things nearby.” Iran, as he correctly observes, has been “conducting [large-scale] military exercises for the past week, in the area of the Strait of Hormuz, near the Persian Gulf. The show of force involved air, land, and sea maneuvers — over 850,000 square miles.”
According to The Associated Press, Mr. Novak writes that “it’s unclear which of Iran’s unmanned aircraft are supposed to be the ‘suicide drone,’ but Iranian news sites have run a number of images that show drones — which quite frankly, might fit under a Christmas tree,” he writes.
Some media outlets have referred to the “suicide drone’ as the Yasir drone, known to be a modified version of the American ScanEagle drone, captured by Iran in 2012. Other Iranian media have referred to it as the Rand-85. The Iranian-made drone is designed to crash into aerial and ground targets, as well as ships, detonating upon impact. Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, Iran’s Chief Army Commander, was quoted by Iran’s state media as calling the unmanned aircraft a flying mobile bomb.”
The military exercises were named, Mohammad Rasoulallah, or ‘Messenger of God,’ Mr. Novak writes.
Iran’s drone capability, and competency, “have been highly suspect,” Mr. Novak contends, “with many speculating that many of Tehran’s more sophisticated looking unmanned drones — incapable of flying. However, Mr. Novak adds, “Iran does seem to have unmanned aircraft capable of 10-hour flights. Unconfirmed reports have reported that Iran’s Shahed-129 drone can stay in the air as long as 24hrs; and, has a range of just over 1,000 miles.”
I suspect that ‘suicide’ drones as described here — in and of themselves — pose little to no real threat. If Iran would be able to mass produce these kind of drones and flood the airspace with them — in swarms — then, they might have something. Or, if you had a much larger drone with a much bigger payload, then that would also pose a new level of threat — but, the bigger the drone, and the more the payload, the more vulnerable the drone becomes. As this technology progresses, smaller, but more lethal payloads, stealth drones, etc.; and the ability to create “swarms” of armed drones — would be something to be concerned about; and, take notice of. But, in this latest, large-scale military exercise by Iran — there’s is lots of “show” and boasts, but, little to show. V/R, RCP