US use of stealth spy drones in Afghanistan raises questions

RQ-170 Sentinel

RQ-170 Sentinel

On December 6, we posted a link to a photo of what appeared to be a classified US drone aircraft, which was published on a blog belonging to French newspaper Libération. Then, unexpectedly, on December 8, the US Air Force admitted that the mystery aircraft, dubbed ‘the Beast of Kandahar’ by aviation spotters, is the RQ-170 Sentinel, an unmanned, unarmed surveillance and reconnaissance drone with stealth capabilities, that is officially still in production by US defense contractor Lockheed Martin. That’s all well and fine. But the question is: why would the US be using a stealth drone against the Taliban in Afghanistan, who have no known antiaircraft radar systems, and are therefore unable to track enemy surveillance planes? The theory that the US Air Force is testing the mysterious plane appears weak, since the plane’s stealth capabilities can only be tested against an enemy equipped with sophisticated radar technology. What seems more likely is that the RQ-170 is based and flies out of Afghanistan, but its real surveillance targets are located in neighboring Pakistan and –especially– Iran. That would also explain the secrecy surrounding the plane’s existence.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

3 Responses to US use of stealth spy drones in Afghanistan raises questions

  1. Chas Ward says:

    If your conclusions are correct and I think they are, why are you aiding and abetting the enemy by publicising foreign reports and giving the domestic military-haters in the US more ammunition?

    Remember, a rumour becomes legitimised when an authoritative source ads confirmation. For what it’s worth the picture of the drone shows its resemblance to the B-2 and German origins, via the work of the Horten brothers.

  2. KMansfield says:

    Shorter Chas Ward:
    You aren’t a liar, but you must be traitor. I don’t read follow up links, but I do look at pictures, and offer lectures to expand my ego.

  3. intelNews says:

    To Mr. Ward: I appreciate your comment and share some of your ambivalence about the above revelation. Rest assured, however, that the Pakistanis and the Iranians are well aware of this development, are are not waiting to read this blog to find out about the latest US airborne surveillance targets. The irony is that, while fully known to the Pakistanis and Iranians, this development escapes most Americans, who are are paying for the project. [IA]

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