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Iran claims to have hacked Sentinel stealth UAV

by on16 December 2011

War of Drones

Iran is proudly telling the world that its electronic warfare experts managed to hack a CIA drone flying over eastern Iran earlier this month.

The RQ-170 Sentinel drone is a state of the art piece of kit used by the CIA over Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran. It is a stealthy, flying wing design, but much of the specification is still classified. Analysts believe it is mostly used in SIGINT/ELINT roles and it is also said to sport an advanced AESA radar.

An unnamed Iranian engineer claims the feat was the result of lengthy and extensive research into US drone operations in the region. Apparently Iranian boffins figured out a way to jam GPS by way of a spoofing technique, forcing the drone to land in Iran without actually having to crack remote control communications between the drone and its operators. However, if this is the case, we wonder why the Iranians would tell anyone to begin with?

In any case, Iran has had a decade to observe US drone operations just over its borders, and in some instances, inside its borders. It has managed to bring down less sophisticated US drones in the past and use some of the captured tech to develop countermeasures, and possibly even incorporate some of it into its own UAVs.

More here.

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