Iranian Copy: What's the Damage to US?

Sub-scale and Full-Scale Aerial Targets and RPAs - Remotely-Piloted Aircraft
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1st503rdsgt

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Unread post23 Apr 2012, 02:57

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeas ... 96493.html

As usual, the Iranians are making big claims, but I doubt they can actually make a working copy. That said, I'm still concerned.

Assuming that this RQ-170 suffered only minor scuffing to its bottom-side, what's the probable loss of US technical advantage? The LO features seem pretty basic and well known, so no real worries there; but what about other elements in the design (sensors, control systems, comms)?
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Elite 2K

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Unread post23 Apr 2012, 23:00

The new LO tech is apparently mostly about manufacturing techniques, and I don't know if much of the sensor hardware would be that useful to Iran (or China). The biggest part of the damage was probably them finding out how to take one down.
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1st503rdsgt

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Unread post24 Apr 2012, 00:35

One has to find it in order to take it down. The methods for sniffing out LO aircraft are already well known, and the RQ-170's LO technology is obviously not cutting edge (for obvious reasons). It's the implementation of those methods over a wide area that is difficult and expensive, especially for Iran. My concerns are in regard to what was mentioned in the original post.
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Unread post24 Apr 2012, 00:41

1st503rdsgt wrote:One has to find it in order to take it down. The methods for sniffing out LO aircraft are already well known, and the RQ-170's LO technology is obviously not cutting edge (for obvious reasons). It's the implementation of those methods over a wide area that is difficult and expensive, especially for Iran. My concerns are in regard to what was mentioned in the original post.

Yeah, Iran is probably blowing smoke -- but they were never really a concern with regard to reverse engineering.
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archeman

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Unread post09 May 2012, 05:27

Well forget about their ability to fully transfer of all technology 100%. If they can even transfer 50% of the technology of the systems found within the RQ-170 it will be nothing short of a boon for the Iranian drone operators and builders. They do have their own drone development, so now they have a very good goalpost to design towards.

Forget the aircraft LO and surface materials for a moment, and think about all the sensors and control equipment that was on board.
It won't take forever to determine the purpose of each sensor and system.
Dispite the fact that you may not be able to duplicate each and every system, you do get the tailwind benifit of seeing 40 or so years of drone development 'lessons learned' built into the nearly intact airframe.

There can be no question here, -- the US is the loosers in this incident, and Iran was the big time winners.

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