MAJOR UPDATE! Look here after reading below:

I stand by my earlier statements 100% concerning the real possibility that Iranian and possibly Russian and Chinese scientists have penetrated the RQ-170’s memory banks, which like the aircraft itself, may very well have existed almost entirely intact at the time of it’s loss. The western world needs to stop underestimating their potential enemies’ capabilities.

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  1. Collin says:

    The fact that Iran has been in possession of the RQ-170 for over one year legitimizes every concern you set forth in your earlier post about the Qaher 313.

  2. Ian Hall says:

    You are spot on-its about 8 years since Lockheed Martin and approx 6 of its subcontractors had their systems hacked -lo and behold in September of last year a clone of the F22 rolls off the production line and looks remarkably like -the F22

  3. aerodawg says:

    Are we sure this is from the memory system and not a video taken with the FLIR system after the fact? I can’t imagine why the FLIR output would be secure when it’s a hard wired internal aicraft system. I don’t know for sure but I imagine it wouldn’t be all that difficult to pull the camera system and go fly it on some other aircraft.

  4. Paul says:

    See photos of actual capture and transport of the RQ170 here

  5. aerodawg says:

    Nevermind, now that the video has actually decided to show up for me. That’s def video from memory…

  6. Collin says:

    I thought I saw a C-130 in the footage, which would suggest to me that they’ve accessed all kinds of stuff.

  7. Brad says:

    OK. So the Air Force/CIA farked up. Now, what are they doing to prevent this from happening again?

  8. says:

    Guys, pic collage from the documentary are up, now I need someone to translate this. Nothing fancy, just talk over the footage. Let me know if you someone that can make this happen. Also, the FLIR Image was clearly taken at the RQ-170’s base of operations (Kandahar?) as it shows US installation with Reapers, C-130s and all the fixins. It is the real deal.

  9. nico says:

    Just curious and probably no one can really answer this but images from Predators/Reapers have been hacked or released because of poor protection or even worse no computer encryption.

    Is it possible that this wasn’t encrypted because why do you need to encrypt the landing or takeoff? Or would it just be easier to always encrypt everything? Does it mean that Iran got an entire mission or just what was left in the computer and wasn’t encrypted or erased between missions? Just curious…

  10. JohnG says:

    Two thoughts:

    1. Not at all to lessen your concern about the loss of this asset, but is it possible the FLIR footage isn’t from the downed drone but rather one of the incidents where a UAV’s live-feed was being broadcast in the clear over satellite?

    2. Another worry to me is that they will find COTS parts and assemblies in the drone, infer design, manufacturer, and supply chain preferences and, with help from China, add targeted clandestine “modifications” to aid future efforts.

  11. Larry says:

    If you were using the camera for takeoff and landing, you probably wouldn’t want to encrypt the signal due to the latency. That’s not the case here as this plane more than likely has auto takeoff and landing. As much as the image was moving during taxi, I doubt its used much for ground ops either. There may be a fixed forward looking camera?? My educated guess is the video is either all-time encrypted or none. Encryption is a pain, sometimes it’s just as good to hide in plain sight. But, that only works for a short time if at all. All these years of broadcasting in the clear is a little crazy.

    I’ve seen that hangar design at “exposed” CIA sites, so it’s definitely USG.

    What’s perplexing is why they operator did not have a procedure to clear the aircraft’s onboard storage before each launch.

  12. Keith says:

    You would think that any of these drones or the operators would have a self destruct procedure in place if anything goes wrong. just like a rocket, if it goes off course we blow it up. or at least destroy the sensitive never fails to amaze me that we are our own worst enemy. we seem to be stuck on stupid.

  13. Lurker says:

    Yes we are our own enemy. Another example is when we proceed to deliver F-16s and hundreds of M1A1 Abrams tanks to Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood took over. Amateur hour.

  14. Se1 says:

    Congratulations! This is the first intelligent analysis I have read so far! If I may be so bold as to put forward another theory. This may very well be a wing in ground aircraft. If you look at their flying boat and their Shafagh aircraft (both of which they fully manufacture) you will see where the design came from. The Iranians are low level flying experts and they see the US fleet in the Persian Gulf as both their greatest threat and their most lucrative target. So a low visibility ultra low flying aircraft which is easy to manufacture would be ideal. The IRGC general in the original tape tells us as much when he talks about its ultra low level capabilities.

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