ANOTHER US DRONE DOWN OVER IRANIAN TERRITORY?: IRGC SAYS IT HAS A INSITU SCAN EAGLE IN HAND

On almost the exact one year anniversary of the famed loss of a US RQ-170 Sentinel over Iranian airspace, a story that was covered in full to international acclaim here at Aviationintel.com, Iran claims that it now has another drone in hand. Thankfully, this time Iran boasts to have almost the exact opposite of the cutting edge and shadowy RQ-170 Sentinel in their possession. Instead they say they have captured an Insitu Scan Eagle, a relatively small drone built in the Pacific Northwest (my backyard) used a gathering short-range tactical intelligence via streaming video. These little drones are beloved by the US Navy and the special operations community, and can be launched off anything from a lumbering amphibious assault ship to a relatively diminutive Mark V Special Operations Craft. By and large Iran already possesses technologies used in the Scan Eagle, although losing any weapon system of a high-tech and miniaturized nature is less than ideal, regardless of its proliferation.

The Scan Eagle is used by armed forces and civilian agencies around the world, and has seen major use over the last decade in both Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as in the famed rescue of the Captain of the USS Maersk Alabama by US Navy SEAL snipers back in 2009. Captain Phillips  was being held at gun-point by Somali Pirates inside an adrift lifeboat and Scan Eagle provided high-fidelity real time video of the lifeboat as plans to rectify the situation were being made.

At this point the US Navy claims that it has all of its Scan Eagles accounted for and that it has no idea what the Iranians are talking about, but somehow I think the Iranians have something in hand that would prove otherwise. Last year it took days for the US to come clean about losing the RQ-170, as it seemed that the USAF had no clue that CIA had been flying an RQ-170 that day (amongst other potential reasons for the US to stall in making such an confirmation). Also, keep in mind that many other countries use this system and the Navy has been using it for years. It could be that an airframe that was lost previously in the region due to technological issues simply washed ashore, or it could be that Iran has shot one down and the US has not realized it was one of theirs. Last month the IRGC attempted to down a US Predator flying in the vicinity of their territory via relatively slow-flying SU-25 Frogfoots. Who is to say that the IRGC did not make good on their threat to shoot a drone down if it breached their airspace and this drone just so happened to be the tiny Scan Eagle? It would be a tough shot, but stranger things have happened folks…

This entry was posted in News, Opinon and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to ANOTHER US DRONE DOWN OVER IRANIAN TERRITORY?: IRGC SAYS IT HAS A INSITU SCAN EAGLE IN HAND

  1. Mike Brewer says:

    The USN admits it has lost SE’s at sea, perhaps this is one of those. The fact its rolled out right around the anniversary of the Sentinel story is fishy. Plus the SE isnt really a great platform for anything too secret squirrel…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *