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Drone Shot a Trick

by christian on February 15, 2010

Got a great comment from a reader on last week’s video post on the Predator that shot at a MiG-25 with a stinger. For those of you who don’t jump into the comment gladiator pit, here’s what “Arcane” wrote about that little incident:

I was at an official briefing where this issue was discussed. The drone in question here was actually the second drone shot down by that Iraqi pilot.

The first drone was operating very near the northern border of the southern No Fly Zone and was annoying the Iraqis. After numerous attempts by other pilots, Saddam sent his best MiG pilot in to knock it out. The pilot waited months for the perfect opportunity, and jumped the border when their radar systems showed all Allied aircraft out of missile range. He accelerated to a supersonic speed, got just close enough to get a missile lock on it, fired the missile, and high tailed it out of there. Literally the minute he crossed the border of the No Fly Zone, every allied aircraft did a 180 and started chasing him, but he made it back across that border before we could get in missile range. His missile impacted

This really pissed us off, so we got the idea of luring the pilot with another drone back into the airspace, but this time we decided that it was time to ruin that Iraqi pilot’s flight suit and we equipped it with a Stinger missile. The pilot pulled the stunt again a few months later, and still knocked out the drone, however the missile the drone fired gave the Iraqis the ebby jeebies and they never attempted a drone shoot down again.

This may be an old story to some, but it was new to me. Think how drone tactics have evolved even since those rudimentary days of armed UAVs…Totally awesome!

– Christian

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

CJ- February 15, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Can a Predator carry a Sidewinder? From the video it looks like the Stinger fell short. An AIM-9 would have probably cleaned his clock.

…or a Raptor nearby, since they wouldn't have seen it on radar.

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esmoore5 February 15, 2010 at 11:23 pm

According to:

http://www.electronicaviation.com/news/Military/9

"The Predator and an Iraqi MiG 25 fired air-to-air missiles at each other. Lilly said the Stinger missed when its heat-seeker got diverted by the MiG's missile. The Iraqi missile downed the Predator."

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Foreign.Boy February 16, 2010 at 12:38 am

Hey Kinda neat to find the article posted on a very official source
http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=4

3 Months before the war started.

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SMSgt Mac February 16, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Yes, with a hoplessly anti-military press people forget the US military was flying combat missions (and getting shot at) to enforce no-fly zones for a decade prior to OIF.

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Jack February 16, 2010 at 3:20 am

They should have pointed the Predator's laser designator(unsafe to eyes) at the MIG pilot. At the least it wouldn't be flying for a while….

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SMSgt Mac February 16, 2010 at 5:15 pm

Can't. Wouldn't be civilized. We can laze them to kill them but not to maim. Laws of War.

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Lopsotronic February 16, 2010 at 3:38 am

That is very cool. Until you start really thinking about remote release. If the missile decides to target a laundry or a bakery, who is responsible? The guy who ordered weapons free? Or the software engineer that made the guidance package?

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r4nd0m February 16, 2010 at 6:18 pm

The guy who ordered weapons free. If a guy trips, and a holstered or whatever gun he is carrying goes off, the court would most likely place blame on carelessness of the operator in question

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AMMO February 16, 2010 at 12:23 am

The scary part about all this is exactly that. Who becomes responsible for collateral damage when the pilot is a computer? Now, that’s not exactly the case, there is still a pilot and sensor operator, and human responsibility is very much a part of the process. But for how long? And with the world’s top nations snapping at each others necks all the way to the end of us all, one day you may not be able to tell the difference between a human piloting a Predator, or the predator piloting itself. That’s scary.

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slw164 February 16, 2010 at 12:17 pm

The Air Force didn't get rid of it Long range air-to-air program we just have newer missiles. Sure the AIM-120 doesn't have quit the same range as the 54, or the AIM-7, but don't count the 120 out of the game.

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Falcon February 16, 2010 at 9:45 am

Who’s responsible for the weapon? The person who pulls the trigger. Predators aren’t some cyborg AI hell-bent on world domination.

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cardoso February 16, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Falcon: YET.

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Valcan February 16, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Im more concerned with ahole jihadies and other human threats than a AI take over. Why would a AI be any different than a man. And when we have AI. Doesnt the AI have human rights?

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Mike E February 18, 2010 at 6:18 pm

If understand correctly, the Predators are too small to carry any air-to-air missle other than those stingers, but a Reaper can carry a Sidewinder…

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