Friday, December 09, 2011
1. We're doing it so wrong that the Iranians actually out-tech'd us.
I'd prefer #3, but I suspect that some sort of powerplant malfunction brought it down (maybe icing conditions). Just looking at the thing, I suspect it just fluttered down like a big leaf. That's why it is intact.
To believe that the US would go through all the trouble to create a fake drone, fly it to Iran, and fake a crash-landing, in order to…um…whatever the Paranoid Conspiracy Theory of the day says, requires a degree of PCT that I just can’t muster. Really.
Iran forcing down the drone by jamming is possible, but unlikely. Really, they can’t even keep their F-14s flying. Still, in the era of Stuxnet, and finding out some of our Predator drones have keyloggers on them, it really can’t be discounted too far. Point a big enough dish at a satellite, push enough digital hash through it, and even encryption and frequency-hopping won’t help. Perhaps China helped, in which case we really must find some way to pay back the favor. Perhaps ship them Jon Corzine?
Most probable? An unexpected single-point failure that cascaded, anything from ten cent fuses, capacitor plague , fuel-line icing, plugged pitot tubes, etc... It’s not exactly a 21st century discovery that one failure can cause bad things to happen in the chain of causality.
Now if somebody could just explain why the drone on Iranian TV was painted yellow….
The things are designed to cruise on their last-known command in the event of a loss of communication. The lack of damage implies it wasn't shot down. DoD is hypothesizing a loss of telemetry contact, following which the drone, which happened to be heading toward Iran at the time on one leg of its mission over Afghanistan, just kept going until it ran out of gas and crash landed. No fuel contributed to no fire.
It's also not impossible to hack the TM signal, so it may be that the Iranians hacked the drone. I think this unlikely, though--else the drone would have been flown to a more accessible and defensible location. Malfunction seems the more likely culprit.
Nobody seems to have considered that this event is actually an Iranian spoof. Pics of the drone, sans undercarriage, are not of the constructional/fabrication quality that I would associate with an American or western-built piece of stealth equipment. It also appears to be rather small
I think that this event is much more for internal Iranian consumption, rather than to frighten the balls of the U.S military, who have appeared to be rather indifferent to the event, has as also the various intelligence oversight committees of the American Congress that one would expect to be jumping up and down and demanding answers
I'd guess we're flying lots and lots of drones in their vicinity. At some point, the chance that one will malfunction and crash approaches unity.
If they really had a way of "jamming" them out of the air, or some other counter-agent, I doubt they'd have just brought down one of them.