The Mil & Aero Blog
Thursday, December 8, 2011
  Let's hope anti-tamper technology is real, as one of the most advanced UAVs falls into Iranian hands

Posted by John Keller

Well, there's little doubt now that a Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has fallen into the hands of the Iranian government. The RQ-170 -- essentially an unmanned version of the U.S. Air Force Lockheed Martin B-2 stealth bomber -- recently was captured relatively undamaged in Eastern Iran while flying a reconnaissance mission, most likely from Afghanistan. The downed UAV has been shown on Iranian television.

If the Iranians have this sophisticated unmanned aircraft, then it's a virtual certainty that the Chinese and the Russians will get an extremely close look at the stealth UAV soon -- if they haven't already.

If there was ever a time for an advanced U.S. weapon system to have reliable anti-tamper technology aboard, it's now. Let's all hope that voiced Pentagon support for robust anti-tamper technology in recent years has been in earnest, and not just telling us what we want to hear.

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-- Critical military avionics and other electronic systems designers are using anti-tamper technologies seek to keep data in the right hands

-- It is time to take anti-tamper technology seriously

-- Advanced anti-tamper technologies are goal of Navy Protection of Electronics Systems solicitation.


Anti-tamper technology comes in a variety of forms, but its function, essentially, is to prevent unauthorized personnel -- like Chinese and Russian intelligence experts -- from reverse-engineering its electronic components and learning its secrets.

Anti-tamper technology most often is designed to sense unauthorized attempts to inspect electronic components such as solid-state memory chips and disk drives and wipe stored data clean without leaving a trace. Some anti-tamper technology even can physically destroy electronic components to keep its intellectual property from prying eyes.

Essentially anti-tamper technology was conceived to prevent any repeat of events like the so-called Hainan Island Incident a decade ago in which a U.S. Navy EP-3 reconnaissance aircraft was forced down on the Chinese island of Hainan, and Chinese intelligence experts were able to glean important secrets from the plane's electronic gear.

Now we face something similar with the downed RQ-170 Sentinel UAV in Iran. Let's hope U.S. military officials have learned from their past mistakes.
 
Comments:
Sadly, it's highly doubtful they have. Why these things don't have a self destruct mode when the control signal or stable flight control is lost during a mission is beyond me. Typical military incompetence. There should be 250-500lbs of high explosives packed around all the sensitive gear. Arm it after take off. Common sense is so hard to come by some times.
 
A self Destruct would be great if the eggheads at Lockheed would only think of such things to install into the UAV's. We train out Pilots how to escape and evade and if captured how to react to interrogations so why not put a self destruct system into all UAV's for this exact purpose. Now Iran, China and Russia and who knows whom else will have the UAV and Stealth technology. Great Job Guys, you deserve a medal of Dishonor for this one.
 
Would have should have and could have. One would think the brains behind such sophisticated technologies would design in a self destruct mechanism the moment the signal is being hacked from an unfamiliar source, yet, no one has.

No, like the traditional American ideology, we have to lose something first before we react - much like 9/11, we had to lose 3,400 lives before going after terrorists... but that's a separate forum.

The leaders of our country and the people in charge of making decisions for our national defense is in serious question. The Chinese and the Russians are probably ecstatic to get their hands on this new toy that fell into the Iranians lap as if by magic....

The General and his lackies that allowed this bird to fall prey to the Iranians should be discharged for stupidity and held completely accountable.
 
Would have should have and could have. One would think the brains behind such sophisticated technologies would design in a self destruct mechanism the moment the signal is being hacked from an unfamiliar source, yet, no one has.

No, like the traditional American ideology, we have to lose something first before we react - much like 9/11, we had to lose 3,400 lives before going after terrorists... but that's a separate forum.

The leaders of our country and the people in charge of making decisions for our national defense is in serious question. The Chinese and the Russians are probably ecstatic to get their hands on this new toy that fell into the Iranians lap as if by magic....

The General and his lackies that allowed this bird to fall prey to the Iranians should be discharged for stupidity and held completely accountable.
 
Better said twice, in this manner, we will never forget!
 
In case the designers forget to put a self-destruct in, or if they did and it fails, why in the heck didn't our commander in cheif go right back in and blow it off the face of the earth from the air again? Or send some black ops guys, like the ones messing with their nuke facitlities in there? Man, just asking politely for it back seems pretty lame, almost intentionally so. What gives here?
 
I do not think that Lockheed made the B-2. I must be worng.

I also do not think that these two aircraft (B-2 and RQ-170)have many similarities other than maybe they are both steathy. Just as a car's shape is designed for it's mission, these aircrafts shapes are determined by their missions; drop lots of bombs or gather intel.
 
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