- - Wednesday, October 26, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Iran’s Tasnim news agency announced the development of a suicide drone that could be used against US ships in the Persian Gulf, where tensions between the US Navy and Iranian vessels has been increasing due to provocative Iranian maneuvers near US warships.

The aircraft was described as “carrying payloads of explosives for combat missions” and to “collide with the target and destroy it, (whether) a vessel or an onshore command center.”

It “has not been designed to be armed with missiles,” Tasnim said, reports USA Today.

The US military has made extensive use of drones for surveillance and to attack targets on the ground. The Iranian aircraft can fly up to four hours, has a 620 mile range, a ceiling of 3,000 feet and can be used at night or in “damp sea conditions.”

Japan famously used suicide pilots in World War II against the U.S. Navy and was very effective. However, the American Navy now has sophisticated defense systems to prevent a successful attack by missiles or other aircraft. It is hard to see how a small, slow, propeller-driven drone would be very threatening to a U.S. warship.


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