December 6th, 2011
09:11 AM ET

Drone that crashed in Iran was on CIA recon mission, officials say

A U.S. stealth drone that crashed in Iran last week was part of a CIA reconnaissance mission which involved both the intelligence community and military personnel stationed in Afghanistan, two U.S. officials confirmed to CNN Tuesday.

The officials said they did not believe the mission involved flying the aircraft directly over Iran because the reconnaissance capability of the RQ-170 Sentinel drone would allow it to gather information from inside Iran while remaining on the Afghanistan side of the border. The officials also for the first time confirmed to CNN it was an RQ-170 drone that was lost.

A third U.S. official confirmed that when the drone crashed, the United States briefly considered all potential options for retrieving the aircraft or bombing the wreckage, but those ideas were quickly discarded as impractical. There was also satellite surveillance over the site, which helped confirm the location of the wreckage before the Iranians retrieved it.

 

FULL STORY
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. michaelfury

    http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/killin/

    December 6, 2011 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  2. Queenie Eugenie (in a bottle)

    hey roadsniper or gay gung, mr delusional! you need physchological help! you have mama issues. No wonder kelly dumped you, she was afraid for her kids!

    December 6, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  3. BOMBO

    @ troll, maybe join a group that lets you live out those fantasies, and keep it to yourself.

    December 6, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  4. BOMBO

    So, is it accurate to say that the officials said they did not believe the mission involved flying the aircraft directly over Iran because the reconnaissance capability of the RQ-170 Sentinel drone would allow it to gather information from inside Iran while remaining on the Afghanistan side of the border, and the officials also for the first time confirmed to CNN it was an RQ-170 drone that was lost? And would it be equally accurate to say that a third U.S. official confirmed that when the drone crashed, the United States briefly considered all potential options for retrieving the aircraft or bombing the wreckage, but those ideas were quickly discarded as impractical, and there was also satellite surveillance over the site, which helped confirm the location of the wreckage before the Iranians retrieved it?

    December 6, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  5. Portland tony

    According to some sources, the operators lost contact or controll somewhere over Afghanistan. Knowing that sooner or later, something like this would happen, why wasn't a self destruct device installed in the drone? ie. Loss of controller input for say 5 minutes and the drone goes Boom.....especially over hostile territory!

    December 6, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Apple minuteman

      Loss of data link – is not only loss of flight control but ALL command including self-destruct. From that I conclude that the Iranians probably burning out the data link electronics with a focused EMP blast and probably GPS and maybe all computer controls - which is why the drone itself didn't automatically fly home or self-destruct when its GPS said it was going down over Iran. Believe it or not Iran has a lot of physicists (hence the nuclear weapons program) who are merely crippled by 1960s and 1970s tools. But EMP is well within those tools.

      December 6, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      My point was that loss of up-link data, after a predetermined time, would automatically cause an onboard device to detonate.

      December 6, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Roadsniper

    She divorced me because of her way of thinking, ask dsl we talk all of the time, at least i was honest with her, but honesty only goes one way with her ,,, to her not from her!

    December 6, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Portland tony

    Frigging trolls! Don't give a damned about your marital bliss or not!

    December 6, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sovereign Copyright

    @Roadsniper:

    1) Who's dsl?
    2) I am sorry for your troubles, but acting out against the other posters here isn't the way to go...we, collectively, are NOT HER!
    Please treat us with the respect we deserve, and we shall do the same with you.
    Thank you.

    December 6, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. saywhat

    @ Portland tony

    These drones are extremely expensive tools/weapons and perhaps that deters the military from their automatic destruction on impact. If you lose control then it would not be possible also to send a self destruct signal.

    December 6, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      Good point! However loss of operators control signal for a period of time should be enough to indicate a system anomaly. After all ground controllers provide NAV inputs and any loss of signal would allow the Drone to go just about anywhere within range constraints.

      December 6, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. saywhat

    I have no clue to this technology & yet I venture to offer my opinion. Pardon me folks.

    December 6, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. George Patton

    What would one expect from these people anyway? Of course they're going to say that the drone "crashed due to machanical failure". I guess that we'll never know what really happened.

    December 6, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jesus

    Death to america!

    December 6, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      THAT'S THE ONE THING HE DIDN'T SAY!

      December 6, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. BOMBO

    I don't think the technology is necessarily in jeopardy. There is more to stealing this technology than simply picking up a crashed drone off the ground, taking it apart in the shop and making hundreds of duplicates. If it was that simple, Serbia would be producing F-117 knock-offs by now. They would have no way, for example, to decipher the on board firmware. Still a remote self destruct function would be a nice feature. I would bet there is a remote function to scramble the electronics.

    December 6, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ronvan

    Portland tony: You have the correct answer! Put enough C-4, whatever, on these things to blow them to smithereens if control is lost. Now everyone is changing their britches in fear Iran will call in China. This thing probably has more stuff on it than will ever be released, yet no one thought of this situation. DUH!!

    December 6, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. chrissy

    i personally would like you to stop taking out your issues with her out on me! I havent done anything to you to deserve it so im respectfully asking you to stop. Please.

    December 6, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
1 2