Wednesday was a long day for American interests in the Middle East, but it culminated in a Navy drone being shot down by an Iranian missile. That didn’t go over well.
The Navy said a U.S. Navy Broad Area Maritime Surveillance ISR aircraft, known as a BAMS-D, was shot down at around 7:35 Eastern. The RQ4-A Global Hawk drone was reportedly about 17 miles from Iran airspace when it was shot down. But of course, Iran claims it was in their airspace. And their timeframe doesn’t match ours, as usual.
“Borders are our red line. Any enemy that violates the borders will be annihilated.” Revolutionary Guard commander Gen. Hossein Salami
Big talk. But poking the US is a bad idea.
Iran fired on an MQ9 Reaper drone during the incident with the tankers, but missed. They appear to think they own the entire Strait of Hormuz.
The Navy is “scrambling” to find the wreckage of the Global Hawk before Iran gets hold of it, according to Fox. Iran also tried to shoot down another drone, but missed. So far, the response has been a war of words. We’ll see if that changes.
The Revolutionary Guard claimed responsibility for shooting down the drone. Where before they skirted the attacks and even blamed the United States, this was a direct admission of guilt. The Global Hawks are currently stationed at Al-Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates as part of the build-up of US forces in the region.
Each Navy drone, an RQ4-A Global Hawk, runs slightly over $222 Million each. It is a High Altitude Long Endurance platform aircraft- (HALE). In other words, it can stay up for almost a day and a half (30 hours), and climb to higher altitudes (11 miles) and scan up to 40,000 square miles of territory. Losing one is expensive. Losing one to Iran likely ticked off a lot of people, particularly when Iran has been acting up lately.
In addition to shooting down our drone, trying to hit another, they also sent cruise missiles to Saudi Arabia and hit a power plant last night. Are they trying to start a war with the Sunni Muslims there as well? They are exaggerating their capabilities, which could well be a pathway to a major bloody nose in response.
Note: The Navy’s variant of the RQ4-A is the MQ-4c Triton. Since most media are using the standard RQ4-A, we are using it.
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