The Coming Drone Wars: Iran Unveils its own Drone, with a 1200-mile Range

It was foreseeable that when the United States began deploying drones wherever it likes, its rivals would also develop that capability. In fact, you wonder if sending the drones around doesn’t create an opportunity for others to capture them and reverse-engineer them. Iran captured a US Predator drone last winter and claimed to have gotten data from it. Instead of being cautious and prudent about a technology that could harm US citizens, the US government has rushed to deploy drones in several countries with which the US is not at war.

So now Iran has announced a new “Fotros” drone in the same class with the Predator, with a 1200-mile range (2000 km). You wonder how the US will feel if Iran deploys it in nearby countries of the Middle East, just as Washington itself has done.

Iran’s PressTv reports:

BBC Monitoring paraphrases Iran’s Tasnmim News Agency from the Persian on Nov. 18, 2013 regarding Iran’s new long-distance drone:

“… This strategic drone, which has an operational radius of 2,000km with its payload, flies up to a height of 25,000 feet and has the capability of flying for 16-30 hours continuously. It is capable of being equipped with air-to-surface missiles and rockets of all kinds to carry out combat missions in addition to carrying out reconnaissance and surveillance missions,” Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) quoted the Iranian Defence Minister, Brig-Gen Hoseyn Dehqan, as saying in a ceremony to unveil the drone on 18 November.

Comparing the drone to the American “Predator”, Tasnim said that the American drone can fly continuously for 24 hours, and has the operational radius of 1,100 kilometres (675 miles) “which shows the powerful engine capability of Fotros”, the report said…

Source: Tasnim news agency website, Tehran, in Persian 1015 gmt 18 Nov 13″

Posted in Drone,Iran | 17 Responses | Print |

17 Responses

  1. Loving the Shia shibboleth stamped at the head of the drone… Imagine the US drones with “America, heck ya.” graffitied on the left wing.

  2. As much as people keep highlighting the dangers of other countries developing the same technology, the US is advancing the same technology at a far greater rate. The new drone war is no different to nuclear weapons, the only difference is unlike nuclear weapons the US has no power to stop others from obtaining that technology. Nonetheless, the US currently has a drone army, unlike other countries and with drone technology currently in development, such as microdrones, or anti missile laser technology currently being developed by Lockheed Martin the US will probably still retain dominance of drone technology and the air, must I say for the worst.

  3. me, I’m wondering more what Americans will think if Iran deploys these drones to Cuba.

    • “me, I’m wondering more what Americans will think if Iran deploys these drones to Cuba.”

      Not a chance of that happening, Brian. Cuba would not allow it to happen, as Cuba does not want to upset the developing, delicate, unofficial relationship that has been brewing between Cuba and the United States the past few years. That is why Snowden could not reach Venezuela or Ecuador from Moscow. He would have had to transit Havana, and the Cubans refused to grant him a transit visa in order not to worsen relations with the US.

    • You are grossly underestimating Iran’s scientific infrastructure. Consider:
      “Which country’s scientific output rose 18-fold between 1996 and 2008, from 736 published papers to 13,238? The answer – Iran – might surprise many people, especially in the western nations used to leading science. Iran has the fastest rate of increase in scientific publication in the world. And if political relations between Iran and the US are strained, it seems that the two countries’ scientists are getting on fine: the number of collaborative papers between them rose almost fivefold from 388 to 1831 over the same period.”
      link to

  4. Iran looks like it’s going to give the Chinese a run for their money in doing the most realistic mock-up of American weapons systems.

  5. What’s always interesting to me is the reality that there’s a “polity” of militarists and supporters and suppliers that lops over all the manipulatable political and social boundaries that incubate all those casi belli. These monsters gather, among other places, at International Arms Shows where they pollinate each others’ fecund murderous imaginations to “extend technology” to ever greater Lethality (the US War Department even has a whole Lethality Project that invites even “non-traditional MIC businesses” to come up with more — and for the “successful bidders,” very profitable — Terminator-class death-dealing devices.)

    In the virtual world, forget “national loyalties” ‘n the silly stuff the ordinary people believe: English, particularly dry British English, the diction of Janes’ All The World’s Killing Machines, a quietly enthusiastic kind of Consumer Report-ism for the universe of Forever Warfare, is the lingua franca, for a seamless web of engineers and machinists and their heady managers who are just EXCITED about the POSSIBILITIES, particularly INTERNATIONAL SALES FIGURES! Here’s one seminal sample, from one of the largest of the post-national war sellers, Boeing: link to I really like the “What if–“s down at the bottom of a speech extolling a global infinite-resource-eating warmanaging apparatus and its killing appendages.

    As to where that all leads, Barbara Tuchman’s “Guns of August” lays out a lot of the seedy and Idiotic crap behind our serial Grand Violence, and to bring it up to date, in this centennial year of the Great War, lookie here: “Behind the Storm: Was World War I the outcome of elite machinations?”
    link to And other scholarship, unblinded by jingoist idiocy…

    Don’t get suckered into believing that an Evil Cabal of Dudes In White Turbans are growing monstrous toadstools like the drone device pictured above, all by themselves in their Secret Laboratories and Manufactories, as a threat to the whole Civilized World. It’s more like the engineers and murder managers in the Iranian fraction of the Global Interoperable Network-Centric Battlespace are just one little set of stipes on THIS giant parasitic pathogenic “world’s largest organism,” link to a fungus that just grows and grows and grows, older than Christianity or Islam…link to Looks like the General Atomics Squints who dreamed up the Predator and Raptor and progeny have set the model for more of the same from all over… All paid for by those of us who are the future Bugsplats in the sights of those immaculately conceived Weapons Systems…

  6. “You wonder how the US will feel if Iran deploys it in nearby countries of the Middle East, just as Washington itself has done.”

    The US should be happy if Iran does so. The folks Iran would want to shoot at (al Qaida and the Taliban) are the same folks the US wants to shoot at.

    • You must get permission from the empire before you take matters into your own hands. The empire is currently using al Qaida strategically in certain places (Syria), so I doubt they would be happy if Iran started targeting them inside Syria.

      • The empire is currently using al Qaida strategically in certain places (Syria),

        Actually, “the empire” is a backing a force that regularly gets into firefights with al Qaeda in Syria, but don’t let me weld up that crack in your pot.

  7. factual correction: it was a top-of-the-line RQ-170 Sentinel, not a low-end predator, and it was December 2011, not last winter.


  8. “rushed to deploy…”

    Let’s remember how the MIC Battlespace thingie works: Some clique of officers and “contractors” and Players constructs a Doctrine. A set of specs for an “appropriate” bunch of procurements gets under way. The prototype and testing parts lumber into motion, with money infusions from an unaccountable “budget” we taxpayers keep stuffing up. Various add-ons appear, with their own costs. The support systems and personnel and managers become a constituency of “people ‘earning’ good middle-class incomes” building and managing it all, with clout related to where stuff gets built and the size of the procurement.

    And the whole goal is “DEPLOYMENT,” at which point the whole shootin’ match is no longer even slightly tentative, it’s a PROGRAM, with its own logic and politics and momentum that has not a damn thing to do with “civilian control of the military” or any kind of what I at least would call healthy “policy.”

    Like the F-22, the F-35, more $8 billion aircraft carriers for more surplus admirals to hang their flags on, the V-22, the fast-growing development of “autonomous Terminator-class Warfighting Machines,” all that crap.

    Enjoy it, people — you have hardly a prayer of changing any of it, including the inevitable endpoint, as long as you keep buying into the idiot myths, and paying for the stuff that actually is going on…

  9. UAV technology is not really all that advanced. We’re talking about remote-controlled planes and streaming video. This isn’t like the hydrogen bomb.

  10. Hmmm…If Iran were to deploy it in nearby countries of the Middle East, we would just shoot it down, no? That’s why we have all those ships offshore. Or perhaps we’d allow one of our “allies” to do so.

    Thank you Barry B for your trenchant comment!

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