The Christian Science Monitor reports that an Iranian engineer has told a reported what we suspected: That they hijacked the drone and fooled it into landing in Iran. The fact that it landed intact seemed suspicious. But how could they have defeated the super power that spends more on it's military than the rest of the world combined?
Simple: They jammed the control signals forcing it into autopilot mode, then overrode the GPS signals to fool it into landing in Iran.
Iranian electronic warfare specialists were able to cut off communications links of the American bat-wing RQ-170 Sentinel, says the engineer, who works for one of many Iranian military and civilian teams currently trying to unravel the drone’s stealth and intelligence secrets, and who could not be named for his safety.
Using knowledge gleaned from previous downed American drones and a technique proudly claimed by Iranian commanders in September, the Iranian specialists then reconfigured the drone's GPS coordinates to make it land in Iran at what the drone thought was its actual home base in Afghanistan.
Read all about it here.
The article goes on to say that the US will continue to fly over Iran. But based on this information it seems likely that future flights will meet a similar fate.
This seems like a huge vulnerability. Makes one wonder if a big chunk of our military budget has been wasted.
Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 8:28 AM PT: First time on the recommended list. Thank you all.