Iran Claims To Have Brought Down A US Stealth Drone, RQ-170

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Context

Iran claims to have shot down US drone RQ-170 that had intruded in to its territory from Afghanistan last week. There are various interpretations on what may have occurred. US has admitted its drone was missing. On the other hand, Iran claims cyber attack brought down the unmanned drone, which US thinks is literally impossible because of the use of advance encryption. Nonetheless, US is worried about the loss of such advanced technology that could be used to understand the vulnerabilities of such weapons.

RQ-170 has also been used for surveillance mission in Pakistan, especially for tracking Osama bin Laden and during operation Geronimo. A stealth version of the Black Hawk (H-60) helicopter had crashed during that operation and later returned to US. Pakistan has been under public pressure to stop armed drones that operate in FATA.

US is increasingly using covert operations and stealth technologies against extremists and adversaries in South and Central Asia and Middle East.