Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Iranian UAVs Pose Growing Threat

Pentagon officials and journalists have been speaking publicly about their concerns regarding advances in Iranian missile technology. No one should underestimate Iran’s indigenous armament industry or the capabilities of Iranian engineers and scientists. Given enough time and, when needed, assistance from North Korean, Pakistani, and Turkish scientists, they are capable of reverse-engineering any military system.

It is against this backdrop that the increasing production of Iranian Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) should pose a concern. The issue is not simply Iranian bluster about their capabilities to replicate the technology in the state-of-the-art U.S. drone seized by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps after landing inside Iran. (Why President Obama did not order it to be destroyed on the ground in Iran is a question that will haunt families of future Iranian terror victims).

Rather, the Iranian military has been making great strides in constructing and putting into operation smaller UAVs. The Iranian military, for example, now operates the Sobakbal, which can fly at attitudes of 20,000 feet, has a range of 13 miles, and can be used for surveillance; and the Ababil, which flies only at a ceiling of 4,200 feet, but has a range exceeding 200 miles. The longer the United States waits to tackle the Iranian problem, the stronger Iran will become and the more crowded the skies over the Persian Gulf will become. Iranian air traffic control de-conflicts manned flights with a great deal of professionalism, but the smaller, unmanned aircraft are another matter. The armaments on the Ababil may not be much more powerful than a rocket-propelled grenade, but the presence of Iranian UAVs buzzing American aircraft carriers or sharing the skies with civilian traffic, American fighter-jets, and helicopters suggests that they are an accident waiting to happen.



Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.