Home » Air » Iranian fighter jets fire on U.S. Predator

Iranian fighter jets fire on U.S. Predator

by Mike Hoffman on November 8, 2012

Two Iranian Su-25 fighter jets fired Nov. 1 on a U.S. Air Force Predator flying in international airspace over the Persian Gulf off the coast of Iran, the Pentagon confirmed Thursday.

It’s the latest act of aggression from the Iranians in the Gulf although it’s the first time Iranian jets have fired on an unarmed U.S. drone, said George Little, the Pentagon spokesman.

According to the Pentagon’s account, the Predator was on a routine surveillance mission at about 4:50 a.m. EST over the Gulf on Nov. 1 and was operating at a distance of about 16 miles off the Iranian coastline when two of Iran’s aging, Soviet– made Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot attack planes approached.

At least one of the single-seat Sukhois fired “multiple rounds” at the Predator from its wing-mounted, twin-barrel, 30mm AQ-17A  30mm mini-gun, but missed its target. The slow-moving Predator moved further off the coastline but the Sukhois pursued and one of them fired and missed again, Pentagon officials said.

The Predator “was not hit” and the drone returned safely to its ground base in the region, Little said. He would not comment on where the drone was operating from, but it has been widely reported that the U.S. maintains major facilities at the Al Dhafra airbase in the United Arab Emirates. The CIA is also known to operate drones from Al  Dhafra.

The Sukhois are primarily ground attack aircraft and its pilots may have been inexperienced at air-to-air gunnery, which could explain why they missed, a U.S. military official said. The Sukhois may only have been firing warning shots in the two passes as the drone, the official said, but Little said “our working assumption is that they fired to take it down” and missed.

“We will continue to fly surveillance flights” outside Iran’s 12-mile airspace limit over the Gulf, where the U.S. has been maintaining a two carrier presence, Little said. “Our aircraft was never in Iranian airspace” in the Nov. 1 incident, Little said.

The issue of why the Pentagon is only now informing the public was raised with Little who explained he was announcing the event only after individuals had illegally leaked classified reports of the attack to the press. CNN’s Barbara Starr first reported the story at 2 p.m. Thursday, the exact time Little’s press conference started in the Pentagon.

Many Republicans will suspect the Obama administration kept the attack secret to protect the president just days before the election. Republican lawmakers had already cried foul over what details the Obama administration released following the Benghazi attack that killed a U.S. Ambassador.

“We don’t typically comment on classified surveillance missions,”Little said. “Someone apparently disclosed this,” Little said, which was why the Pentagon was now choosing to comment.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was quickly notified when the Sukhois opened fire and the White House was also informed, Little said. The U.S. chose not to respond but a complaint was filed with Iran through Swiss diplomats in Tehran, Little said.

“We will continue to fly surveillance flights” outside Iran’s 12-mile airspace limit over the Gulf, where the U.S. has been maintaining a two carrier presence, Little said.

“Our aircraft was never in Iranian airspace” in the Nov. 1 incident, Little said.

– Richard Sisk contributed to this report.

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{ 126 comments… read them below or add one }

JJ6000 November 8, 2012 at 5:04 pm

They may have been experienced in air to air gunnery….or maybe they were just crappy shots? Hmmmm…

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JJ6000 November 8, 2012 at 5:05 pm

make that "inexperienced"

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Clifford_D November 9, 2012 at 1:44 am

It is called testing the waters if the drone was in the iranian airspace on mission for intel or an effort to acertain the nations progress on nuclear research for reactors the US would be at fault.

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Thomas L. Nielsen November 9, 2012 at 2:14 am

Punctuation is your friend. You should try it.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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Nick November 10, 2012 at 12:36 am

Maybe they didn't fire to kill. My guess is they fired to send a political message to the US, something along the lines of "Iran isn't afraid to fight back."

I mean, if they did indeed fire to kill, they likely would have known that shooting down the Predator is tantamount to a declaration of war (if not something really close to it), and, as belligerent as the Iranian government is, they're smart enough to know that they CANNOT go toe-to-toe against the US military in a conventional conflict.

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Vanem November 11, 2012 at 10:37 am

It's only the beginning of much misery in that region….. How much time does it take to teach the Iranians to behave?

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Uranium238 November 8, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Looks to me like the Iranian version of spray and pray fails on epic proportions.

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Tyler November 8, 2012 at 6:05 pm

More like they wasted some ammo as a message. I doubt both pilots missed by accident, even accounting for the fact that they are Iranian. They're testing their limits, pushing our buttons.

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Bill November 9, 2012 at 7:46 am

Speaking of praying, since Muslims pray everyday, what does a pilot do mid-flight when its time for a muslim's daily prayer?

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blight_ November 9, 2012 at 9:13 am

You're allowed to defer your prayers, and pray longer before and after your flight.

What happens during Ramadan is undoubtedly more complex…

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Soulja-boi November 9, 2012 at 11:53 am

You are not allowed to defer your prayers. If you are in a condition where you couldn't pray, you must pray immediately you are relieved from the condition.

On the Iranian pilot missing, i believe its a two way situation.
Lets just hope they missed on purpose, if not, there "supposed" military superiority would be questioned.

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blight_ November 9, 2012 at 1:51 pm

I stand corrected, though I suppose that's what I was thinking of when I said defer.

What missing Iranian pilot?

Guest November 8, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Gotta love the timing of the "Leak" though….Wonder what the responce would have been had they actually shot it down….

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dirtylodown November 8, 2012 at 5:21 pm

We just won our first battle with Iran.

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blight_ November 8, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Sooner we figure out a way to put meaningful air to air missiles on Preds, the better.

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JE McKellar November 9, 2012 at 9:58 am

Yeah, after losing that first stealth drone to the Iranians, it's heartening to have something to cheer about.

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Mathieu November 9, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Ummm… what?

USS Samuel B. Roberts struck and Iranian mine – and we struck back.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Praying_Ma

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Guest November 9, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Most people in this forum seem to have missed the 80s. When the Navy shot down a satellite a year or two ago, nobody recalled the AF's ASAT program when I brought it up.

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blight_ November 9, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Americans can barely remember past eight or nine years ago…

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Link November 9, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Read about first in Red Storm Rising, Googled it and found out it's real. They stopped the testing because of the space debris it created. Too bad because it's a really cool idea.

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Lance November 8, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Lucky it was a SU-25 not a F-4 or MiG-29 which could have blown the drone away with AA-2 or AA-6 AA missiles.

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ffjbentson November 9, 2012 at 11:20 am

Have the Iranian's modified there F-4's to deploy AA-2 and AA-6 missiles?

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Lance November 9, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Have too the US stocks we gave the Shah ran out after the Iran/Iraq war. the Chinese helped them modify there F-5 F-4 and F14s to use commie based missiles.

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blight_ November 8, 2012 at 5:49 pm

I guess our next response should be to deploy a CG nearby and give them a good radar lock as a warning…

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@Rangerbane November 8, 2012 at 11:04 pm

"the Gulf, where the U.S. has been maintaining a two carrier presence."

Thought maybe you might have missed that line in the article, considering it was only mentioned twice.
I agree with the radar lock, but that can be construed as an act of armed aggression, then we could be actually ta war with Iran, …. then Russia, and who all knows what happens after that.

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blight_ November 9, 2012 at 9:16 am

CG as in a Tico. Hopefully not the Vincennes, but…

That said, a radar lock versus firing rounds in the general direction of a UAV? Hrm.

Though I suppose the Iranians are going to try and make the United States look like The Bad Guy…again.

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Tommy November 9, 2012 at 9:24 am

Rangerbane is saying that there are cruisers within carrier groups. CG's are in CG's.

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blight_ November 9, 2012 at 10:17 am

Ah.

We need more acronyms.

guest November 11, 2012 at 2:12 am

What makes you think that the whole affair was not on radar?
"Radar lock" is not armed aggression, it's more of a warning that an armed response is possible. Besides it's not always necessary to have a detectable "radar lock" in order to track and engage a target. Consider a radar equipped non tactical aircraft quite a few miles away that just might be capable of transmitting very accurate targeting information to a strike aircraft carrying long range air to air missiles.

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blight_ November 11, 2012 at 10:09 am

It is entirely possible that the Navy was on-site and warned off the attackers.

A UAV so close to Iran could be coming off a flight from Yemen…making it a CIA drone? Or a maritime patrol mission based out of Bahrain or somesuch. Hrm…

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DB-1 November 8, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Maybe our president will ask them nicely not to shoot at our drone

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octopusmagnificens November 8, 2012 at 6:32 pm

America should respond.

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Marcellus Hambrick November 8, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Should have just used their wings and flip them like they did with V-1s in World War ii. Would have thrown off GPS and the drone couldnt have righted itself.

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Lance November 8, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Bro, these drones fly much slower than the frogfoots. at the drones speed, the jets would stall and drop like bricks. so yeah, they should have tried that lol

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@Rangerbane November 8, 2012 at 11:09 pm

Marcellus, these drones have better flight controls than the V-1s, with gyros and computer processors that operate 100's of times better, as well. Also, don't forget the pilots in Nevada. I'm sure they are part of the reason the fighters missed, as well!

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Marcellus Hambrick November 8, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Should have just used their wings and flip them like they did with V-1s in World War ii. Would have thrown off the GPS and the drone couldnt have righted itself.

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Nick November 8, 2012 at 7:15 pm

The US has two carrier groups in the region, likely boomers as well, F22s stationed just a stone throw away and some of the toughest economic sanctions ever on Iran. Any “response” beyond the complaint that was filed will mean war. If that’s what people really think is the proportionate response to this incident, say so. Don’t complain about there being “no response” and then complain when America is bogged down in yet another sticky mess in the Mid East.

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Joe November 8, 2012 at 7:17 pm

non story. Aside from building the case for war with iran of course.

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David November 8, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Iran should have intercepted our uav with one of their "silent drones". lmao

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Mastro November 9, 2012 at 10:26 am

I like their aluminum guppy midget sub

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Rob November 8, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Put a copy of the Quran in every vehicle/drone we have.

The muslim world will not attack as they risk burning it.

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Soulja-boi November 9, 2012 at 12:04 pm

How typical of you !

Well i guess that's why they have automatic defense systems…

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Belesari November 9, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Well in reality it dont work well. If i remember correctly someone else a muslim army tried that to another one once…….they got murdered.

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ddd November 8, 2012 at 8:59 pm

Apparently I have been deleted by the administrator.

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bob November 8, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Guys guys, this is a ruse. Notice how it was 1 week before the elections. Obviously they want us to get into war.

This is a play by Russia and China to get us involved in another waste of money and lives.

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ddd November 8, 2012 at 9:02 pm

It is strange, but I find myself caring much less about this incident than I would have had the aircraft been piloted by a real human. I know in my mind that "firing on an American aircraft is firing on an American aircraft," but this just seems…trivial.

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WWW November 8, 2012 at 9:23 pm

I see it like Iran is trying to start a slap fight with us

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Guest November 9, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Really it is pretty trivial, but for Iran to actually fire on US equipment instead of just posturing and throwing their chest around is a pretty bold move for them.

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Andrew November 10, 2012 at 10:34 pm

If the Iranians fired on a manned aircraft it would've ended much like the ending of Top Gun.

You don't start dogfights in a Su-25 if you plan to actually live long.

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blight_ November 11, 2012 at 10:10 am

We all know Mig-28s are terrible at air-to-air… /harhar

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dubweiser101 November 8, 2012 at 9:16 pm

I'd be willing to bet my left nut that Iran spun the truth and claimed they shot down the drone on Fars News Agency. Just like they claimed to have hacked the RQ-170 when clearly it crashed, or like the time they claimed they fired hundreds of missiles, when in reality the photo's Iran published were photo shopped, or like the time when… well you get the point.

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Kirk Gibbs November 8, 2012 at 11:30 pm

A reasonable theory is that Iran didn't hack the RQ-170, but Chinese experts did in Iran which makes a lot more sense. If another power wanted a technology that we wanted and we could "steal" it using a proxy, I hope we would. Though we'll probably never know.

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reality November 8, 2012 at 9:20 pm

Realy? can we delete this? too political and preachy … this is a military/war website, not a political christian site!
oh, and when you put in cirtain words (dealing with politics or religion), no one wants to read your bullsh*t man.

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AirBud November 8, 2012 at 11:02 pm

An inexperienced, Iranian Frogfoot pilot vs. a slow-moving, unarmed U.S. Predator drone in an inappropriate 30mm mini-gun duel over the Gulf… Does anyone else have a sense of humor over this trigger-happy event? Clearly, it was a chance encounter by a student pilot, probably. No harm, no foul… ☺.

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Rob November 9, 2012 at 12:10 am

Modify a drone so it is nothing more then a model airplane with a camera, speaker a prerecorded sound clip.

Have it play a song. I'd like to see Gueen – We are the champions.

Fill it full of candy or whatever you want

Send it too close or accidently lose it into their territory again :P Let them, have it, like the last drone.When it detects anything near it explodes marshmellow or whip cream all around.

After that send one more that is a bit more advanced that fires m&m's and skittles

Feel free to add more if you like. The drone show must go on.

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Matrix3692 November 9, 2012 at 12:33 am

why the **** every defense technology/military/war sites i seen had someone like this? i’m getting too tired for this……

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Thomas L. Nielsen November 9, 2012 at 2:22 am

"The LORD's Word in the Bible tells all to beware of many
that will be False Prophets" -You mean like that "Lord's Little Helper" guy,
Paul Felix Schott?

"Most all on Earth, know that there is but one GOD" – citation, or are you making stuff up for Jebus?

"The Prophets of Our Lord and GOD would not tell others to hurt or harm others" – The victims of the Crusades, the witch hunts and the Spanish Inquisition called. They'd like a word with you.

"This Nation Under GOD Needs Good Strong Christian Leaders" – ….like a fish needs a bicycle.

"Norway Muslims immigrate rape women even a 12 year old" – citation, or is this more of making stuff up for Jebus?

And what's with the "Lord's Little Helper" thing? If your imaginary friend is as powerful as you and your ilk claim, why the FSM would he need anyone's help, let alone yours?

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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majr0d November 9, 2012 at 3:49 am

Thomas – You usually post very intelligent posts I enjoy reading. You made an exception here. Even if one person offends you it isn't right to insult all our faith.

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Thomas L. Nielsen November 9, 2012 at 4:19 am

majr0d,

First of all, thank you for the kind words on my usual posts.

Personally, I do not see how my post can be considered insulting to religious beliefs in general, and I'm sorry that you find it to be so. Except of course if you share Paul's disturbed view of reality, in which case I'm not sorry at all. Could you tell me if there is any particular part of my post that you feel crosses the line? Or is it the general tone of the post?

In the latter case, I can assure you that, if Paul had instead tried to make a reasoned argument in favour of his point of view, I would definitely have responded differently (or not at all). However, he didn't, and I firmly believe that, just as freedom of expression gives Paul the right to post his moronic rant, it also gives me the right to respond in kind. You know, "do onto others…" and all that?

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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majr0d November 9, 2012 at 4:48 am

Thomas – Your use of "Jebus" and "your imaginary friend" were unecessary. You've demonstrated yourself as being intelligent and articulate enough to address one individual vs. disparging the personal beliefs of many. Your comments were as bad as if someone disparged everyone from Luxembourg.

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Thomas L. Nielsen November 9, 2012 at 6:37 am

Since I'm actually expat Dane, a general insult of Luxembourgers wouldn't worry me too much :-) And even if someone insults all Danes (or all Luxembourgers) I have enough first-hand experience with Danes, Denmark, Luxembourgers and Luxembourg to just say "Well, whatever" and let it pass (hint-hint).

Joking aside, the terms may have been unnecessary but then, as an evil, amoral, puppy-kicking, hell-bound atheist, I would say that I find religious beliefs in general to be unnecessary.

And yes, the terms were intended to be disparaging, but only to Mr. Paul (whose contribution to the stupid of the human race has now been deleted, I notice). If Christians or other religious believers find the terms offensive and disparaging to their personal beliefs then, as I said above, that is regrettable, but in my much less than humble opinion this comes under the heading of "collateral damage".

But apart from all that, your comments have, as always, been taken ad notam.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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Belesari November 9, 2012 at 3:33 pm

The problem seems to me Thomas that as i've noticed to many atheist have as much manners as the 14 year old children they act like and seem to have a obsession with thinking that because they think something is false they have a RIGHT to consider themselves above everyone else and insult everyone else who dosent believe like them. And in the end they seem to consider it their Due to make others stop their inferior beliefs.

So its why people like like majr or i get offended. Simply respect our private spiritual beliefs. Other wise you present yourself no better than Paul up there.

Thanks. You are over all not that bad for a heathen son of a bitch btw LOL,.

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Dayne November 9, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Yes because Christians are perfect and never misbehave, insult, or act immature right? Christians never hurt anybody right? please grow up

Thomas L. Nielsen November 10, 2012 at 1:33 am

"….have as much manners as the 14 year old children they act like and seem to have a obsession with thinking that because they think something is false they have a RIGHT to consider themselves above everyone else and insult everyone else who dosent believe like them".

And of course, Christians (and Jews, Muslims, etc.) are never, ever anything like that at all, under any circumstance, no sirree. And if they are, they have the GOD-GIVEN RIGHT to be like that, yeah?

Apart from that, thank you for the kind words (about me not being all that bad for a baby-eating atheist :-) ).

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

Stratege November 9, 2012 at 2:23 am

So, the Iranian Su-25s are equipped with a US made AQ-17A mini-guns? Surprise.

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Stratege November 9, 2012 at 2:37 am

Wait, what is the AQ-17A ? Google's answer about the TV… :)

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William C. November 9, 2012 at 3:20 am

I don't think that is right. The Su-25 has an internal Russian twin-barrel 30mm GSh-30-2 cannon, that's probably what was used. The Su-25 can carry Russian gun pods, but I don't think any are of that caliber.

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Andrew November 10, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Or, you know, they used the twin-barrel 30mm that's been on every Su-25 since they were created.

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Larry November 9, 2012 at 3:06 am

Next time they should send a Grey Eagle with its 8 stingers and let it have some fun with these old SU-25 ;-)

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William C. November 9, 2012 at 3:14 am

The AIM-92 Stinger has equipped on Predators in the past, but that's quite short ranged for the air-to-air role, lets find away to put the AIM-9X Sidewinder on the things. See how they like some return fire.

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Guest November 9, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Thats a hell of a weight difference between a Stinger and a Sidwinder, not to mention the kick of the rocket motor fireing. I wonder how that would affect the stability of the drone.

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majr0d November 10, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Lighter than a hellfire.

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Charley A November 11, 2012 at 12:41 am

Hellfires weigh about 50kg, Sidewinders check in at about 80+kgs. So if you are saying Stingers weigh less than Hellfires or Sidewinders, you are correct.

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mike e November 12, 2012 at 10:17 am

A Reaper could probably carry a Sidewinder, it's on the heavy side for a Predator.

Really, the Stinger is probably a better air-to-air weapon for a ground-attack drone anyway; given the airframe performance, it isn't going to be effective air-to-air against jets (want to go after attack helicopters with Grey Eagles, that's something else!) regardless of how you arm it or what kind of combat programming it has.

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Abe November 9, 2012 at 7:50 am

I think they were just trying to shoo the fly away. It's amusing to see it spun as incompetent aggression.

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d. kellogg November 9, 2012 at 8:43 am

For the author…
I quote, "At least one of the single-seat Sukhois fired “multiple rounds” at the Predator from its wing-mounted, twin-barrel, 30mm AQ-17A 30mm mini-gun…"
Sukhois do NOT have "wing-mounted" guns.
And 30mm is a "minigun" caliber?
Further, the Su-25's gun has always been fuselage mounted, early models semi-recessed under the belly, later models offset under the forward nose.
A GSh-30-2 is the actual twin-barrel weapon in question.
The only thing coming up on this quoted "30mm AQ-17A" is a link to, you guessed it, this very DefenseTech article.
Nothing from countless, more-credible militaria websites and information groups.
It could be that stated 30mm AQ-17A is the PODDED VERSION of the GSh-30-2 carried/mounted UNDERWING, but unless this author and/or his source was there and actually witnessed it, how can he claim the Iranian Su-25 actually fired "multiple rounds” at the Predator from its wing-mounted, twin-barrel, 30mm AQ-17A 30mm mini-gun…?

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d. kellogg November 9, 2012 at 8:44 am

Was the Predator's optics slewed onto the aircraft in question, with enough clarity to see podded underwing weapons firing?
Would be curious to know who these experts are that speculated said Su was carrying gun pods in addition to its internal weapon, and why these podded guns would be weapon-of-choice rather than internal gun.
Iranian aircraft may even still employ podded 23mm types as well, so we have "proof" it was 30mm cannon fire because…why exactly?
I think here we have one more instance of semi-literate "military experts" feeding us (the general public and certainly moreso this article's author)
more of their drivel laden with their own flakes of semi-researched extrapolated beliefs to add more drama to their story.
Clarification of FACTS goes a long way in reinforcing credibility.

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projob66 November 9, 2012 at 8:45 am

I love the tenor of the story, like the Iranians are picking on a poor defenseless drone… haha… unbelievable…

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blight_ November 9, 2012 at 9:12 am

Yup.

Why is a ground attack aircraft doing gunnery practice on aerial targets?

Amusingly, it might be one of the Su-25's from the Iraqi Air Force that was moved to Iran and captured. Hahaha…

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L Berry November 9, 2012 at 9:23 am

First of all, who actually believes we were flying outside the 12 mile border? The drone was probably on typical fly-over and they just happened to be waiting on it. Having seen many instances such as this during my 24 year career in USAF, we did lots of missions over enemy territory and very seldom lost. Gary Powers and his U-2 back in 50's was one that we lost.

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Mok November 9, 2012 at 9:42 pm

CIA lost quite many U-2's and other planes in China.

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Nicky November 9, 2012 at 10:11 am

It just shows that the Iranians can't shoot a broad side of a barn. Maybe next time we can send a predator armed with an AIM-9X and a stinger missile

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CurtisE. November 9, 2012 at 10:41 am

The bigger story is the timing of the incident's release to the public. Who among us, Republican or Democrat, doesn't really believe that the "leak" was timed to happen as it did? Any takers here? No price too high to win an election, campers…takers win and makers lose…another four years of this pathetic mess…

As for the Frog newbies…they were most definetely trying to shoot down the drone…pathetic! Bet on the Iranians playing it as a warning…hah!

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blight_ November 9, 2012 at 11:05 am

I suppose the next step is modifying a Global Hawk to carry air to air missiles, and then to use them on aircraft engaging bait Predators.

For perspective, many American surveillance aircraft were downed by the Soviets in international waters…

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CurtisE. November 9, 2012 at 11:44 am

MQ-9 Block 5 variant and future designs will be the forseeable direction, blight…bait Predators are surely in use as we speak…just a technicality, really…The Phantom Ray is the next-gen platform for both recon and suppression…

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Mark November 9, 2012 at 11:36 am

Anyone want a good laugh?

Tune in to WABC radio and listen to Geraldo Rivera talk about U.S. air power.

He thinks the F-22 is equivalent to the F-35.

It is shocking how clueless this Left-Wing Dope is.

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blight_ November 9, 2012 at 11:55 am

Geraldo is a pariah, either for working for Fox News or being such a hilarious news chaser.

"Here, let me draw my coords on the sand.."

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ray November 9, 2012 at 12:36 pm

what the hell usa doing in persian gulf
just like iranian navi park it in miami and start to do air show

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Discusted November 9, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Let's all build DRONES and sell them on EBAY , then fly around the country looking for battles, what a great way to keep air traffic controllers from falling asleep.

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Srsly November 9, 2012 at 4:43 pm

“unarmed” spy drone
Iranian “aggression”
“”international waters outside Iranian borders” , just like the last drone until they admitted it was 200 miles inside iran Irying to spy on them

They act like Iran shot some pregnant American woman and didnt just DEFEND their borders and national integrity against aggressive miltiary intrusions and provocations by the U.S. …

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Srsly November 9, 2012 at 4:44 pm

“unarmed” spy drone
Iranian “aggression”
“”international waters outside Iranian borders” , just like the last drone until they admitted it was 200 miles inside iran trying to spy on them

You act like Iran shot some pregnant American woman and didn’t just DEFEND their country and national integrity against aggressive military intrusions and provocations by the U.S. …

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Srslywhat November 9, 2012 at 4:45 pm

“unarmed” spy drone
Iranian “aggression”
“”international waters outside Iranian borders” , just like the last drone until they admitted it was 200 miles inside Iran trying to spy on them

You act like Iran shot some pregnant American woman and didn’t just DEFEND their country and national integrity against aggressive military intrusions and provocations by the U.S. …

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Marcellus Hambrick November 10, 2012 at 10:38 am

Obummer can handle the Iranians. How? By giving in to their demands. Cant to go war with them or it might jeopardize some of his liberal giveaway programs.

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JJ6000 November 10, 2012 at 12:21 pm

So do you think military action is a proportionate response to Iran's actions? What do you think the US should have done?

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Diablotakahe November 10, 2012 at 3:04 pm

If a US F15 had fired on an Iranian drone would you have described the F15 as ageing?

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riceball November 12, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Yes, because it is although our oldest F-15s are probably in much better shape than the oldest Iranian Su-25.

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david November 11, 2012 at 12:06 am

And if Iran was flying UAVs 12 miles off the US east coast u don't think we blast them out of the sky too?
Most of u people just want us in another war.

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anthony November 11, 2012 at 5:43 am

If Iran fired upon our drones it would be all over the news,lets stop trying to get them into a war.Isreal has enough problems we the US pay for and lets hope China stays the course with us debt wise..

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larry spizzirri November 12, 2012 at 2:43 am

It is unfortunate that Iran wants to play this game. For people who wish to rush to war, go fight yourselves. Don't send others.

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TonyC November 12, 2012 at 7:48 am

Probably the Iranian pilots weren't really trying to shoot down the drone. They still had to make it look good to their superiors. Like the other blogs said, there were real air to air assets in the vicinity if needed to take out the SU-25's.

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Amicus Curiae November 12, 2012 at 9:03 am

Message received: 1) Iran knows how to track and intercept US drones; 2) US drones are unprotected; 3) US drones can be shot down at will; 4) Don't push us .

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blight_ November 12, 2012 at 11:32 am

I suppose it's preferrable to losing RC-135s offshore of the Soviet Union, as the US throughout the Cold War.

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Lookup andfire November 13, 2012 at 11:27 am

Ummm..

Operational ceiling of Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot = 23,000 ft
Operational ceiling of Predator = 60,000-65,000 ft.

Everyone seems to assume they were both flying at the same altitude when they were being fired upon. I thought the Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot was a ground attack (similar to the A-10 warthog) anyway.

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Yupperrz November 14, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Where are you getting info that the pred is a high alt aircraft?

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bahman November 15, 2012 at 12:13 pm

“we iranian people trample americans” , this is from our leader , ayatollah khomeyni . a man just for god..

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Woody November 19, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Bring it on tough guy, take your raghead and climb into one of your Suhkois and let's see how tough you are against an F-18 Superhornet…..c'mon, the US pilots need some easy practice……maybe you think you stand a chance in one of your "Tomcats"……huh?

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Robert November 15, 2012 at 9:24 pm

To the haters posting..

It's great to have pride in your own country but if look at any soiciety, past or present there has always been crime, mental & stupid people in each.

In the end we all live on the same planet. It is all too easy to choose to fight.

If Iran really wants our CIA out of the area and to remove bases overseas, peace is the best choice.

If there were no hostile regimes or militant groups we would have no reason to be there.

You blame us. We blame you. It's time to mutually agree to disagree. Move on .Live on.

End the Jihad and we go away, It's as simple as that. Otherwise it will get very bad. Iraq was 1/100th of our alliance's capability globally.

Realize if if you somehow break us, we'd resort to nukes. We have enough to destroy the planet.

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Lewis November 16, 2012 at 5:47 am

This is interesting, in that it's quite a different result to what would have happened if a manned aircraft had been shot at. If military aircraft and the military in general become increasingly roboticised, I imagine we'll see other changes to the way border disputes and political messages take place.

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africa November 16, 2012 at 7:27 am

If they really want to shoot it down they would have but instead.. I think they use their student air force men & old grand attack jets (all to show how learned this students are).

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Zspoiler September 18, 2013 at 3:19 pm

The iranian seem to forget that our drones can shoot back . just mount a pair if Side winders instead of Hellfires. Then if they try some thing stupid like that . Would n`t that be a BIG suprise.

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kevin September 19, 2013 at 4:18 am

what america waiting for to strike iran.. c'mon man it will be fun if there comes the real world war 3.. heh..heh.. there's many people who scare to die but looking trouble to go to war.. do you have any idea what is after death ????.. do you really think it's just like sleeping… ???

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Musson November 9, 2012 at 8:50 am

Can a Predator drone be fitted with a sidewinder missile?

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Adam November 12, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Yeah, real power you got there, your pilots couldn't hit an unarmed, unmanned drone. You'd have no chance against a TOPGUN-trained F/A-18 pilot, let alone an F-22.

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Musson November 9, 2012 at 9:17 am

How would you like to be the first fighter pilot shot down by a Predator drone? If you lived through the experience – you might wish you hadn't.

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Charley A November 9, 2012 at 10:03 am

AIM-9s are probably too heavy and require too much from a MQ-1 host, but a AIM-92 Stinger missile has been fired at an attacking Iraqi MiG-25, with negative results.

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Noha307 November 9, 2012 at 1:31 pm

"Combat"

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Anonymous November 9, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Well then clearly we need to spend a trillion dollars on more F-35s!

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Soulja-boi November 9, 2012 at 3:16 pm

I mean the pilots not shooting down the drone. Its either the drone had some evasive capability or they were simply trying to play dodge-ball ….

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Belesari November 9, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Actucally the term now is Carrier Strike Group. so its a CSG with CVN, DDG, CG, FFG,……….

lol

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blight_ November 9, 2012 at 3:28 pm

I guess the term carrier battle group was replaced…sigh, the PC Police.

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blight_ November 9, 2012 at 3:31 pm

The fact that they used a ground attack aircraft for the intercept is puzzling to me in the first place…

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majr0d November 10, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Thomas – I would never taken you as a person to use someone else's misdeeds to justify your own. You keep surprising me.

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Thomas L. Nielsen November 11, 2012 at 1:56 am

majr0d,

Well, first of all, I'm glad to see that I have not lost the ability to surprise.

Secondly, I think you misunderstand. I was not using "other people's misdeeds" to justify my own, since I don't really see that I need justification, and certainly not for a "misdeed".

I was simply pointing out to Belesari that, if you want to accuse somebody of "thinking that because they think something is false they have a RIGHT to consider themselves above everyone else and insult everyone else who dosent believe like them", then atheists and freethinkers probably shouldn't be the primary target.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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Greg November 11, 2012 at 3:57 pm

You seem hypocritical to be honest. You are not jumping to defend the insults of muslims later in these posts.

So what you really mean to say is respect your beliefs whether we believe it or not.

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Thomas L. Nielsen November 11, 2012 at 12:17 pm

"Secondly, I think you misunderstand. ……and certainly not for a "misdeed""

Correction: What I meant to say was that I do not find that I have committed any "misdeeds" that require particular justification. At least not here (don't ask about that strip club in Ottawa back in '04, though….)

Note to self: Avoid posting early in the morning before breakfast.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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krypton November 13, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Maybe you should be asking how close the ground attack aircraft was to the carriers.

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