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Iran Wants To Clone Downed US Drone

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the come-fly-the-friendly-skies dept.

The Military 663

PolygamousRanchKid sends this quote from the LA Times: "The Obama administration has sent a formal diplomatic request asking Iran to return the radar-evading drone aircraft that crashed on a CIA spying mission this month, but U.S. officials say they don't expect Iran will comply. 'We have asked for it back,' Obama said Monday at a news conference in Washington with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki. 'We'll see how the Iranians respond.' His comments marked the first public confirmation that the RQ-170 Sentinel drone now in Iranian hands is a U.S. aircraft, though U.S. officials privately acknowledged that in recent days. Iran has claimed it downed the stealthy surveillance drone, but U.S. officials say it malfunctioned. Capture of the futuristic-looking unmanned spy plane has provided Tehran with a propaganda windfall. The government announced that it planned to clone and mass produce the bat-winged craft for use against its enemies." Iran has also demanded an apology from the U.S. for the drone flight in its airspace.

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Now these guys have some balls (5, Funny)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358262)

The Obama administration has sent a formal diplomatic request asking Iran to return the radar-evading drone aircraft that crashed on a CIA spying mission this month

Getting caught and then asking to return their spying device, lol.

Re:Now these guys have some balls (4, Funny)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358284)

Yeah, it's kind of like throwing a baseball through someone's window then asking for the ball back.

Re:Now these guys have some balls (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358334)

A better analogy might be a peeping tom throwing a camera through someone's window and then ringing the doorbell to ask for it back.

You'd be surprised how often that works, BTW.

Re:Now these guys have some balls (4, Interesting)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358382)

ACTUALLY Its more like putting a camera on the fence looking at your neigbors yard, and they rip it down, and then asking for it back.

Re:Now these guys have some balls (5, Funny)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358450)

Actually, it's like parking your car on the street in front of your neighbor's house and having them tow it on to their yard and put it up on blocks.

(Well, somebody had to make the car analogy....)

Re:Now these guys have some balls (0)

what2123 (1116571) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358562)

Actually...Profit!

Re:Now these guys have some balls (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358568)

Actually its more like flying a drone into someones airspace and having it crash, and then asking for it back.

Re:Now these guys have some balls (5, Insightful)

eclectus (209883) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358696)

Or like Law enforcement putting a tracking device on your vehicle and asking for it back when you go public with it.

Re:Now these guys have some balls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358716)

Mostly, it's like trespassing on private property to surreptitiously place a GPS tracking device on a car parked on its owner's driveway, then when the vehicle's owner discovers it during routine maintenance and photos of it show up on the web, then demanding it back with threats. That is to say, business as usual.

Re:Now these guys have some balls (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358546)

If they kept it at the boarder, you would correct.

This is more like sneaking over to your neighbors house and mounting a camera ON his front porch and then them taking it and you asking for it back, mounting screws and all.

On the fence ? (2)

aepervius (535155) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358588)

No it is more like having a camera suspended OVER your neighbor house, then the enighbors downit with a stone throw, and then asking it back, while playing innocent and offering a lot of denial of anything wrong.

Re:Now these guys have some balls (2, Funny)

codemachine (245871) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358606)

Actually in this case, the camera would've been hiding right in the neighbor's yard.

Iran: Is this your camera? What is this camera doing here?
US: Nothing. but can we have it back?

Re:Now these guys have some balls (2)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358748)

ACTUALLY Its more like putting a camera on the fence looking at your neigbors yard, and they rip it down, and then asking for it back.

Well, according to the Iranians, it's more like putting a camera in your neighbors tree and them finding it and keeping it.

Given that the US has sent drones into Pakistan without telling them, it wouldn't entirely surprise me if this actually was sent into Iran's airspace.

Then again, given how bat-shit crazy Iran seems to act, I'm not sure I put a whole lot of stock in their version either.

Re:Now these guys have some balls (3, Informative)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358782)

Surprisingly yes. So far the claims from the US coalition have been that the drone was lost somewhere over western Afghanistan and not in Iran. The truth of that statement can be called into effect but it would be like flying a remote controlled helicopter around your yard that crashed into your neighbor's yard.

Re:Now these guys have some balls (3, Funny)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358862)

I prefer the ubiquitous political cartoon [wordpress.com] .

Re:Now these guys have some balls (3, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358376)

I never had a problem asking for the ball back.

I also never had a problem paying for the damages by working it off for them. Its called being accountable for your actions.

What did you do? Run off and hide while the poor bastards window was replaced at his expense?

Re:Now these guys have some balls (0, Flamebait)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358446)

What a competent president would have done is sent another drone to destroy it so the technology didn't fall into the hands of every enemy state in the world.

Instead, we're sending them a "formal" pretty-please.

Who knows, maybe we can sweeten the pot with a fruit basket and the Ayatollah will see things our way.

Re:Now these guys have some balls (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358502)

What a competent president would have done is sent another drone to destroy it so the technology didn't fall into the hands of every enemy state in the world.

Yeah, an act of war against a foreign nation after they shoot down your spy drone that was in their airspace sounds like a great plan. Particularly when they're one of the world's largest oil suppliers and gas would probably hit $10 a gallon.

Re:Now these guys have some balls (2, Insightful)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358806)

Forget the fact that they are one of the largest oil exports. Don't ignore the fact that they can close the Straight of Hormuz which would choke off the oil supply coming out of THE LARGEST oil supplier.

why no self-destruct? (4, Insightful)

Chirs (87576) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358504)

It boggles my mind that this thing didn't self-destruct for exactly this reason.

Re:why no self-destruct? (4, Insightful)

cblack (4342) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358594)

These drones do have a self-destruct as well as other "things are going wrong" modes. One of them is to just circle waiting for control communications to be re-established. Another one is an automatic safe landing mode. Some people suspect that this drone may have gone into auto landing mode which would explain why it appears undamaged. For such a sensitive device leading to such horrible PR if captured, I feel perhaps the self-destruct should be the default failure mode :)
However, having it just blow up in some civilian household would probably not be good PR either.

Re:why no self-destruct? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358758)

It doesn't have to self-destruct at an explosive level, just fry all the electronics and you're good.

Re:why no self-destruct? (1)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358818)

The radar absorbant paint alone is a huge windfall for Iran...

Re:why no self-destruct? (1)

danlip (737336) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358828)

I think you could include a very small explosive charge to destroy the electronics, which is probably the most important thing to keep out of enemy hands. You wouldn't risk blowing up civilians, and could probably contain most of the shrapnel in the shell of the vehicle (and hopefully detonate long before it reached ground). Who knows, maybe that already happened. The Iranians wouldn't want to admit it, and neither would the US.

Re:Now these guys have some balls (2)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358618)

Yeah, because a competent President would have started World War III rather than give up a single lousy drone.

Re:Now these guys have some balls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358670)

Yeah, we are getting out of Iraq (sort of) so it's time to start another aggressive war, 4 teh lulz .

Re:Now these guys have some balls (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358388)

Yeah, it is like dropping bomb at another country and said it is not a war.

Re:Now these guys have some balls (4, Informative)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358364)

Getting caught and then asking to return their spying device, lol.

Like the Russians asking for their MiG-25 back (they got it in boxes after much study), or the US asking China for it's EP-3 orion back (we got it and it is still flying today).

Re:Now these guys have some balls (5, Informative)

gsnedders (928327) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358692)

The MiG-25 was obtained by the West after a Russian pilot defected, aircraft and all. It had nothing to do with a Soviet aircraft being in airspace without permission.

Re:Now these guys have some balls (5, Insightful)

dittbub (2425592) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358374)

It also takes balls to ask for an apology for receiving a very nice gift.

Re:Now these guys have some balls (2)

synapse7 (1075571) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358380)

Maybe he is making an attempt at relations. I highly doubt if Iran does not hand it over that the Gov/Military will allow them to continue to have it. What is more interesting is whether the drone actually malfunctioned on its own or the Iranians were able to cause the malfunction.

Re:Now these guys have some balls (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358416)

Some careless employee obviously carelessly left it behind.

Re:Now these guys have some balls (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358578)

Don't miss Iran... going to take full advantage of the drone, but wanting an apology for it being there in the first place.

...But he said Please! (5, Insightful)

sanzibar (2043920) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358644)

i keep hoping this is some elaborate super secret spy ruse but the more I watch the incompetence the more I realize its just incompetence.

Re:...But he said Please! (4, Interesting)

sosume (680416) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358772)

That's EXACTLY what I was thinking. Like a Trojan horse, the Iranians are parading the thing around all their secret facilities.

Re:Now these guys have some balls (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358700)

Getting caught and then asking to return their spying device, lol.

It works when the FBI does it.

Re:Now these guys have some balls (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358876)

I'm sure if an Iranian drone crashed in California the US would give it right back.

Yeah, and I want to clone Brittany Murphy (3)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358282)

But let's face it, it just ain't happening.

Re:Yeah, and I want to clone Brittany Murphy (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358358)

Because we can't have enough generic blondes?

Re:Yeah, and I want to clone Brittany Murphy (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358514)

He's the one who wants to clone them, as opposed to whoever it is who is unleashing hordes of them upon us.

Its like the star wars distinction between an army of clones exists, vs My clone army exists.

Re:Yeah, and I want to clone Brittany Murphy (1)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358642)

Where the RIAA now?

Re:Yeah, and I want to clone Brittany Murphy (2)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358704)

it's hard to clone corpses

Re:Yeah, and I want to clone Brittany Murphy (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358840)

You don't need a clone, you need a ghola.

When will Iran apologize to humanity? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358320)

You know, for things like sentencing Salman Rushdie to death?

Re:When will Iran apologize to humanity? (2)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358434)

When will Iran apologize to humanity? You know, for things like sentencing Salman Rushdie to death?

I used to suffer from insomnia. But Salman Rushdie has helped me achieve a better sleep. Every time I pick up one of his books, I find myself dozing off rapidly...

Re:When will Iran apologize to humanity? (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358436)

Probably the same day the U.S. apologizes for the coup that overthrew democracy in Iran and put the Shah in power in 1953.

Deebo would be proud (1)

magsk (1316183) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358354)

That's my bike fool! Nothing like invading someone elses space then making it seem like they are infringing on you. At least thats my takeaway Hypothetically what would the US do if an Iranian drone (without weapons) was downed in Virginia?

Iran? Nope, China and Russia... (2, Interesting)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358356)

Iran simply does not have the ability - the technical knowledge and manufacturing ability - to "clone" these aircraft.

More likely is that China and / or Russia have already sent a team to take it apart and learn its secrets.

Re:Iran? Nope, China and Russia... (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358424)

Because you think they live in caves?

TV much?

You're Troll-a-riffic! (1, Informative)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358524)

Because you think they live in caves?

No, troll, because I think they not have the the technical knowledge and manufacturing ability to "clone" these aircraft, and their friends in China and Russia do.

You are aware, are you not, that Iran gets *most* of its advanced technology from... China and Russia?

Re:You're Troll-a-riffic! (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358634)

Because you think they live in caves?

No, troll, because I think they not have the the technical knowledge and manufacturing ability to "clone" these aircraft, and their friends in China and Russia do.

You are aware, are you not, that Iran gets *most* of its advanced technology from... China and Russia?

As does the US, well, at least from China.

Iran is not Iraq. They have a western standard of living, despite your ignorance of the region.

Re:You're Troll-a-riffic! (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358880)

Because you think they live in caves?

No, troll, because I think they not have the the technical knowledge and manufacturing ability to "clone" these aircraft, and their friends in China and Russia do.

You are aware, are you not, that Iran gets *most* of its advanced technology from... China and Russia?

As does the US, well, at least from China.

Iran is not Iraq. They have a western standard of living, despite your ignorance of the region.

I can't tell if you are making a joke about iphones being made there or if you seriously think that the Chinese do all the R&D for the US.

Re:You're Troll-a-riffic! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358668)

I am actually in Iran working for an Iranian company, they do indeed have the technical capability to do what they say and probably indeed have.

Quit throwing your yanky flag around like it is your penis.

Re:You're Troll-a-riffic! (2)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358706)

Considering that the crown of their air force is a copy of a plane the US developed in 1961 I doubt that they can clone the most advanced drone we have.

Re:You're Troll-a-riffic! (0)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358768)

Considering that the crown of their air force is a copy of a plane the US developed in 1961 I doubt that they can clone the most advanced drone we have.

Considering that most of the technology in that drone is probably barely more sophisticated than 1960s aviation tech, and most of the interesting stuff is just software, I suspect they could. It's not as though we're talking about an F-22 here, it's a computer flying a pretty basic aircraft with some satellite comms.

Re:You're Troll-a-riffic! (1)

Phelan (30485) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358722)

I'd be impressed... that would be the quickest study and copy effort in the history of mankind.

Re:You're Troll-a-riffic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358694)

You are aware, are you not, that Iran gets *most* of its advanced technology from... China and Russia?

China is where I get most of my advanced technology from too.

Re:Iran? Nope, China and Russia... (1)

Algae_94 (2017070) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358654)

I'm inclined to agree that it would be very difficult for them to "clone" this aircraft, depending on what they define as "cloning". I believe that they could make something the same size and shape, but it would be difficult to reproduce all the materials. Even if you know the final composition of materials, it can be an extremely complicated process to create said materials. Then they would have to get the weight balance proper and then reverse engineer the computerized control systems. Considering the thing didn't stay in the air as it is, it could very likely be flying on the edge of stability and the only thing keeping it up is constant corrections by the flight systems. They may very well obtain some classified knowledge from this thing, but making a perfect copy? I doubt it.

tl;dr; version - I equate the Iranians saying they can clone this thing to them saying that they can make an airplane that looks similar.

Re:Iran? Nope, China and Russia... (3, Interesting)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358614)

Assuming it even has any real "secrets". According to Wikipedia's article on the RQ-170:

Aviation Week postulates that these elements suggest the designers have avoided 'highly sensitive technologies' due to the near certainty of eventual operational loss inherent with a single engine design and a desire to avoid the risk of compromising leading edge technology.

(quote was from well before this loss, BTW). Most of the tech Iran doesn't have is likely to be in the electronics, and those are not easy to reverse engineer (things like the AESA radar system). China and Russia already have most of those. They might wanna take a look just for any new ideas or design differences, but it's not like these things are F-22s or anything.

Re:Iran? Nope, China and Russia... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358794)

Iran has launched their own satellites into orbit and are working on nukes, so they have the technology to reverse engineer this little drone.

Re:Iran? Nope, China and Russia... (2)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358858)

In many cases, classified technology isn't so much a matter of technological superiority as figuring out what the parameters of the problem are. Sometimes building countermeasures is just a matter of discovering what frequencies to block. Once that's known, blocking them is simple.

Its not likely that Iran will be able to build drones for use against us by examining this one. After all, how do they know whether or not our radar can see our own drones. They'd have to capture an example of our radar and examine it to figure that out. What they do have is a test article for use in reconfiguring their antiaircraft systems to better see the next drone coming in. Its just a matter of measuring its RCS in different attitudes and RF absorption at different wavelengths. Simple enough to do in your average university EE lab.

I kind of hope.. (1)

Grave (8234) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358372)

I kind of hope that this is all some sort of ridiculous Trojan Horse plan. If not, whomever made the call to not have a reliable self-destruct sequence should be sacked.

Clone on the Range (5, Funny)

Megane (129182) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358384)

Oh, give me a drone where the camels all roam
Where the Sikhs and the Sunnis all pray
Where often is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are dusty all day

Clone, clone of my drone
Where the Sikhs and the Sunnis all pray
Where often is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are dusty all day

Re:Clone on the Range (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358636)

Sikhs in Iran? Go study some geography!

Good luck cloning it... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358392)

Assuming the drone was recovered intact, which it might not have been, wouldn't the chips that hold the essential guidance software be protected from physical tampering? I know that anyone in any intel work encrypts everything down to the smell of their farts.

It is highly unlikely Iran can do much cloning of it and gain knowledge that they don't have already, other than perhaps its shape or maybe get some idea of the engines... but RC aircraft have been around for ages, and there isn't that much in the way of fundamental differences between a RC aircraft with a camera and a drone.

I'm expecting Iran to make picture with a number of drones positioned ready to take off, all oddly looking identical and appearing at the exact same angle to the camera... perhaps with strange smoke trails.

Re:Good luck cloning it... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358598)

Yeah unless they haven't figured out '80s-level basic stealth tech, there isn't much for Iran to learn from this.

Re:Good luck cloning it... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358650)

Assuming the drone was recovered intact, which it might not have been...

You have seen the pictures? Basically intact, though the wings seem to have been detached.

It is highly unlikely Iran can do much cloning of it and gain knowledge that they don't have already, other than perhaps its shape or maybe get some idea of the engines... but RC aircraft have been around for ages, and there isn't that much in the way of fundamental differences between a RC aircraft with a camera and a drone.

Iran probably does not have the technical knowledge to do much more than clone the shape. But their friends in China and Russia are probably already all over it looking at optics and paint...

I'm expecting Iran to make picture with a number of drones positioned ready to take off, all oddly looking identical and appearing at the exact same angle to the camera... perhaps with strange smoke trails.

Absolutly. Done with pirated Photoshop, of course...

Re:Good luck cloning it... (1)

MadMartigan2001 (766552) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358780)

there isn't that much in the way of fundamental differences between a RC aircraft with a camera and a drone.

That's the best joke I've heard in a long time!

Joke's on you Iran! (3, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358394)

It doesn't have any DNA!

Jesus (4, Insightful)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358396)

Iran has also demanded an apology from the U.S. for the drone flight in its airspace.

As they should. If I found some stealthy character in my backyard looking in on my wife, an apology is the LEAST I would demand.

Re:Jesus (1, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358444)

But would you kill him, dissect him, and clone him?

Re:Jesus (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358490)

While they are doing it, maybe they could consider an apology for the Stuxnet virus. But of course, it don't have like the drone a "made in usa" visible sticker on it.

Re:Jesus (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358564)

In all fairness, most of it was probably made in China.

Re:Jesus (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358712)

Not a character. More like a FLIR camera in your backyard. And you get to keep it. A cool toy.

Good luck with that (4, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358420)

I'm sure their clone will be almost as good as mine, but probably not actually as good.

The important technology in the device is embedded in chips that are the most tamper resistant devices on the planet, they'll be utterly destroyed and unusable for reverse engineering well before they get anywhere near the tech.

The optics I'm sure are impressive, but not so much that they'll get some giant leap.

The encryption keys were worthless before the aircraft hit the ground.

The paint and fuselage material are the most important things on it that they can gather data from that isn't already something they can get their hands on through other channels.

Its just silly for anyone to think they have a snowballs chance in hell of doing anything it it. It would be hard for US to reverse engineer it, let alone Iran.

sand != silicon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358428)

I think they are confused. Yes, silicon comes from sand, but its a little more complicated than that! lol.

Re:sand != silicon (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358552)

And money DOES grow on trees, because that's where the cellulose to make the paper bills comes from.

Step 2.... Step 3 profit (4, Informative)

mwfischer (1919758) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358440)

Obviously the next course of action is to air strike the shit out of it so the technology doesn't go into enemy hands.

Hey they asked nice, first.

What nonsense (5, Insightful)

mr.mctibbs (1546773) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358452)

How absolutely ridiculous of them to ask us to apologize for committing an act of war. Hasn't anybody been paying attention? The US, and only the US, has the right to invade other countries' airspace, kidnap, torture, and murder their citizens, and then accuse those countries of breaking the law. That's how democracy works. Those silly backward Iranians just don't get it. It must be Islam's fault.

All Ur Drones R Belong 2 Us (4, Funny)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358472)

Ummm... if they clone an American drone, won't it still answer to our siren call? Cool, that would make Iran a subcontractor for the U.S. military!

Re:All Ur Drones R Belong 2 Us (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358676)

I bet they could make them cheaper than Lockheed Martin. Might work out for us in the end.

Re:All Ur Drones R Belong 2 Us (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358762)

Outsourcing FTW....

Re:All Ur Drones R Belong 2 Us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358750)

Isn't there a patent troll that could sue Iran if they did clone it? If they did that maybe the economic disincentive would be enough... Save on international sanctions.

Maybe Ap*le could say it looked like an i*ad from a certain angle and stop them producing it.

old fortune says (4, Funny)

drodal (1285636) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358500)

O give me a clone, of the downed US drone, with the Y chromosome changed to X.......

(it was funny in the 80's)

Cloning (2)

SaroDarksbane (1784314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358510)

China will clone it for Iran and start selling copies for one tenth of the price we spend on them in the states. DEY TUK R JERBS!

Re:Cloning (2)

OhHellWithIt (756826) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358766)

China will clone it for Iran and start selling copies for one tenth of the price we spend on them in the states. DEY TUK R JERBS!

Somehow, I think cloning a U.S. drone is kind of like cloning a cell phone. It's not going to be good for much without the supporting network. My understanding is that the drones are controlled via satellite, so they'd need a few of those, a control room, and God knows how much supporting computer equipment and software. The Iranians would have to defend the ground-based control infrastructure, and I'd just about put money on Israel taking it out as soon as it became operational.

The bigger problem is that the Iranians could possibly learn enough about how the drones are controlled to at least render them ineffective, or, as many have observed, they could barter the right to examine the thing to more capable nations.

why? (0)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358536)

Why do they want this, is it that they like the batman comics? In case of Iran I'd be directing all of my energy at anti-aircraft defense and building nuclear bombs that could be then strategically spread around the country and could be delivered to where they want to deliver them by land. Iran needs protection, the kind of protection that is required to stop an offensive attack by USA and Israel, but if Iran blows a nuke in Israel, then Iran would be destroyed by Israeli and US nukes.

So it needs to be able to deploy nukes but only within their own borders, like nuclear traps in case of invasion. I think given all other options this is their only way to survive if Obama or another war-monger politician comes to the office. They need to be able to show nuclear capability but they can't threaten other countries with it, only threaten nuclear mines/bombs in case they are invaded.

The war drums are beating on Iran.

Re:why? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358570)

Why do they want this, is it that they like the batman comics?

It's great PR for the Iranian government, who can now use the thread of the Evil Satan USA to make their people rally around them. I doubt they're really thinking of making these things, but it keeps the story in the news for longer.

If I designed that drone (1)

jerryjnormandin (1942378) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358550)

I'd like to know why the drone wasn't equipped with a self destruct system. Isn't that weapons systems 101 ???? Damn who was the idiot who left that out ? Our President doesn't even know how to play poker. If it was up to me I'd call the Iranian leader and say "uhm... be carefull, the drone has a self destruct mechanism that could go off at any time. The last 2 minutes of telemetry from the drone indicated the self destruct system was armed. I suggest letting us retrieve the drone "

Well, it's possible... (5, Interesting)

medcalf (68293) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358554)

It's possible that we deliberately downed a drone over Iran with a modern appearance but made with the wrong materials, and with old sensors and electronics generally — or maybe with electronics deeply flawed in a subtle way — with the intent of having Russia and China get their hands on it and then underestimate our capabilities. It's possible, that is, that this is actually an intelligence coup of the highest order.

Knowing our government from inside experience, though, I'm voting for the assclown theory as the survivor of Occam's razor.

Of course it malfunctioned. The question is why! (1)

pjabardo (977600) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358574)

That is almost the definition of a malfunction: failing to do what it was designed to do, in this case returning safely to its "handlers". The interesting question is why it malfunctioned. Since the US doesn't have the device, it is a little harder for the US to say whether there was a random failure or it was downed (whatever the method). Since the US denied for so long that it had lost a drone, I'm inclined to believe the Iranians.

Is self-detonation an option here? (1)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358576)

How come these top-secret devices don't come with self-detonation systems in case they fall in the wrong hands? Even Apple puts a kill switch in its phones.

sure hope i've forgotten about this request ... (1)

spads (1095039) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358600)

...by the time the election rolls around. Lord, how embarrassing! What f- balls!

Source Code? (0, Troll)

dmesg0 (1342071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358656)

I wonder if the drone is statically linking any GPL libraries. If so, Iran should demand the source code for the entire drone and ask FSF to back them.

It will surely make the cloning, or rather forking, efforts much easier!

They already knew (5, Insightful)

Squiddie (1942230) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358718)

Everyone knows that Iran will not return the drone, and they're in that right. The US politicians will just use this as an excuse to escalate things and drive us closer to another unwanted war.

Bad move (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358764)

If the Iranians do give the stuff back, they won't do it for free. Most likely they will ask America to leave their nuclear program alone. But if they get to keep it and try to clone the stuff - that would distract them from building a nuke for a while.

they want to clone it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358786)

huh, yeah, and I want a solid gold toilet seat, neither are likely to happen

Tough call (4, Funny)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358798)

IANAL, but according to the precedent set by Keepers Vs. Weepers, I think the US will have a very hard time convincing the courts for the immediate return of their supposed property unless they can get their mommy and daddy involved.

Oh, this was in Iran? Well, we know where this is going. The US will just go over to Iran's house and shoot his parents in the face.

It's not mass produced, if it's not on eBay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358836)

"The government announced that it planned to clone and mass produce the bat-winged craft for use against its enemies."

Awwww! And here I was planning on launching my own drone to spy on my neighbours :(

Isn''t the first rule of spy games (1)

esocid (946821) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358844)

You don't acknowledge that you're spying?
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