U.S. Drone is downed over Iran.

  Bingalau 20:25 08 Dec 2011

I am surprised that these gadgets aren't fitted with a self destruct system.


To let one fall in to the hands of Iran of all nations at this time defies belief.

  birdface 20:38 08 Dec 2011

downed over Iran

And not a scratch on it.

I think you would expect some sort of damage.Will see what the news brings.

  Forum Editor 23:39 08 Dec 2011

"I am surprised that these gadgets aren't fitted with a self destruct system."

I share your surprise. These aircraft are used primarily for surveillance, and you would think that it might have occurred to the designers that one might fall into the wrong hands. It wouldn't take an Einstein to work out that some form of self-destruct system could prevent secret technology from being revealed to a potential or actual enemy.

Of course you would have to be able to communicate with the aircraft to initiate a self-destruct, and from what I've read it seems that this may not have been possible.

  TopCat® 00:11 09 Dec 2011

I heard it mentioned that it had been brought down electronically by overriding it's guidance system so no doubt minds are concentrated on resolving this problem. I also concur that a triggered self destruct system is a serious omission. TC.

  morddwyd 08:23 09 Dec 2011

All air vehicles are fitted with a self destruct device.

It's called an engine.

You switch it (them) off.

There is also a back up system called the control system which works in a similar way.

Unfortunately, like any system at all, if somebody disables the switches you're stuck!

  Brumas 17:46 09 Dec 2011

Picking up on something FE touched on "Of course you would have to be able to communicate with the aircraft to initiate a self-destruct,".

I am neither electrical engineer nor techie but I would have thought it could have been 'booby trapped' so, unless it was opened a certain way, it would blow itself up? In that case there would be no need for communication between sender and drone. Wasn't this the case with many un-exploded WWII bombs?

  Bingalau 18:02 09 Dec 2011

I would also have thought they would have been "Booby-trapped" to blow up on being mishandled in any way. Too late now!

  morddwyd 19:53 09 Dec 2011

I think booby trapping would not really be cost effective for one in how many thousand chances that this event would occur, and you would never know, until it was too late, whether it worked or not.

I also think, as an explosives and weapons engineer (who has fitted so-called booby traps, or to give them their proper name, anti-tampering devices, to bombs), that it would be too risky.

It would just want one engineer out of thousands, on just one returned device out of thousands, to get just one item in a sequence of several hundred wrong, and there goes the farm.

Let's face it, these devices use perfectly normal, but sophisticated, radio control techniques, and perfectly normal, but sophisticated, surveillance and/or weapon delivery techniques.

There is almost certainly no very secret equipment on them, and no real security risk.

Remember, the very fact that they are drones means they are expendable and may be sent to high risk areas without risk to aircrew.

  Diemmess 10:42 14 Dec 2011

I think the loss of a single drone is in itself not important. However, Iranian technology has succeeded in working out the various frequencies and coding, so that they can now override the home transmissions and that will be expensive to correct.

  Bingalau 18:33 14 Dec 2011

I think I saw something in a paper someone else was reading that the USA had asked for its drone back. I could only see the heading. A bit like asking for your ball back after you had smashed the glass in your neighbour's greenhouse.

  woodchip 22:05 14 Dec 2011

What's to steal? what is on the Camera is what they already know, as for the drone its only a glorified model plane with a camera fitted in it

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