Information operations · Information Warfare · Iran

Iran Escalation (18) – IRGC Kills US Navy BAMS-D Global Hawk

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

Iran escalates the situation, shooting down an ISR asset in international airspace.  The “red line” has been crossed, let’s see what causes a triggered response.  I am quite certain some things are already being done, we, the people, may not ever know what is actually being done.  No doubt there are many different Information Operations being executed, telling Iran to cease and desist.  We don’t see what the Iranian public is observing, not what the Iranian leaders are seeing and hearing, we certainly do not know what the IRGC is perceiving. Engaging all these different target audiences simultaneously, with reinforcing messages, narratives, and actions, should be shaking the very foundations of Iran.  Iran’s allies, in the region and elsewhere, should also be relaying what they are receiving, reinforcing ‘negatavisms’ to Iran – telling Iran to ‘cease and desist’.  

Notice the measured response by the US leadership.  Controlled statements, no pomposity, no saber rattling.  ‘Iran is but a pimple on a body part’ without saying as much.  

The secret is to let Iran seem to win without actually winning. Their culture demands it.  

</end editorial>

CENTCOM confirmed that Iran shot down an RQ-4A BAMS-D Global Hawk in international airspace, it is a navalised Global Hawk used as proof of concept for the production MQ-4C Triton. The locations of the SAM battery and the aircraft during the engagement have not been disclosed as yet. Iran has claimed the use of the ‘Third of Khordad’ domestically built SAM system operated by the IRGC, it appears to be a copy or derivative of the Russian Buk M3 / SA-17 GRIZZLY but Iran also claims the system incorporates the Bavar 373 SAM that appears to be a derivative or copy of the Soviet 5V55 / SA-10B with additional controls. As the RQ-4 operates at a similar altitude to the U-2 series, in practice it is difficult to hit using a medium range SAM unless it flies very close to the battery (e.g. Powers’ U-2 over Sverdlovsk).

This attack on an unarmed ISR asset fits the pattern of escalation we have observed previously with this regime. It is likely this escalation will continue until the US is pushed into a shooting war – the regime needs a fight for previously discussed reasons.

It would be prudent to divert all commercial air traffic routes away from the coverage of Iran’s S-200VE / SA-5B, S-300PMU2 / SA-20B and other SAM systems, as there is a real risk of another KAL-007 / MH-17 disaster if the IRGC decide a civilian air transport is an RC-135V/W or other ISR asset. An air sea exclusion zone around Iran would not be an unreasonable way of minimising the risk of civilian air and sea traffic coming under attack by the IRGC.

Earlier in the week the US Navy briefed media on the limpet mines employed to attack tankers, which appear to be of Iranian origin.

U.S. Central Command Statement: Iranians shoot down U.S. drone > U.S. Central Command > Statements View

TAMPA, Fla., June 20, 2019 — “U.S. Central Command can confirm that a U.S. Navy Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (or BAMS-D) ISR aircraft was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile system while operating in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz at approximately 11:35 p.m. GMT on June 19, 2019. Iranian reports that the aircraft was over Iran are false. This was an unprovoked attack on a U.S. surveillance asset in international airspace. The BAMS-D is a RQ-4A Global Hawk High-Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) and provides real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions (ISR) over vast ocean and coastal regions.” – Attributable to Navy Capt. Bill Urban, U.S. Central Command spokesman

Iran Downs Navy Surveillance Drone in ‘Unprovoked Attack’ – USNI News

A Navy high-altitude surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle was shot down by a surface-to-air missile in the vicinity of the Strait of Hormuz by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, the IRGC announced on Thursday. The IRGC claimed the UAV was operating over Iranian airspace and that the shootdown was to send a “clear message” to Washington, said IRGC commander Gen. Hossein Salami, according to ABC. “The message is that the guardians of the borders of Islamic Iran will decisively respond to the violation of any stranger to this land. The only solution for the enemies is to respect the territorial integrity and national interests of Iran.” U.S. Central Command confirmed the shootdown of a Navy derivative of the RQ-4A Global Hawk in a follow-on statement but called the attack “unprovoked” and said the UAV was operating over international air space. “A U.S. Navy Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (or BAMS-D) ISR aircraft was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile system while operating in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz,” CENTCOM spokesman Capt. Bill Urban said in a Thursday statement. “Iranian reports that the aircraft was over Iran are false. This was an unprovoked attack on a U.S. surveillance asset in international airspace.” The Navy-owned UAV is a modified Air Force RQ-4A Global Hawk that was developed for Naval Air System Command’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Demonstrator (BAMS-D) program. The Navy has been flying the BAMS-D for more than decade for testing, and the platform has spent significant time operating over U.S. Central Command. In parallel, the service is developing its own high-altitude UAV based on Global Hawk, called the MQ-4C Triton, which will start operating first from Guam and is set to achieve initial operating capability in 2021. The shoot-down of the BAMS-D UAV follows two attacks on Air Force UAVs since tensions between Washington and Tehran rose in early May. During the June 13 attacks of two petrochemical tankers in the Gulf of Oman, the U.S. claimed Iranian forces attempted to shoot down an Air Force MQ-9 Reaper. On June 6, a U.S. MQ-9 was shot down over Yemen by forces believed to be loyal to Iran.

U.S. military says Iran shoot down of its drone was ‘unprovoked attack’ – Reuters

The U.S. military confirmed on Thursday that one of its drones was shot down but said the incident took place in international airspace, challenging Iran’s account that the U.S. aircraft had been flying over Iranian territory.

US official tells AP that US drone was shot down by an Iranian missile in international airspace over Strait of Hormuz – The Washington Post

US official tells AP that US drone was shot down by an Iranian missile in international airspace over Strait of Hormuz

Everything We Know About Iran’s Claim That It Shot Down A U.S. RQ-4 Global Hawk Drone (Updated) – The Drive

The Pentagon won’t comment in detail about the incident and there is already confusion as to what type was actually lost.

Strait of Hormuz: US confirms drone shot down by Iran – BBC News

It happened over the Strait of Hormuz, amid soaring tensions between the US and Iran.

Iran shoots down U.S. military drone over Strait of Hormuz – Iran –

U.S. official confirms the military drone was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile in international airspace ■Top Iranian commander: We sent a ‘clear message’ to Washington

Iran says it has downed a drone in a message to America – AOL News

U.S. and Iranian officials have both acknowledged that an RQ-4 Global Hawk was shot down, but dispute the location.

Iran says Revolutionary Guard shot down US drone over its airspace – Business Insider

The US military declined to immediately comment on the incident, which comes at a time of increased tension between Iran and the US.

US Spy Drone Downed by Iran’s Home-Made Short-Range Missile Defense System – Al-Manar TV Lebanon

The Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) used the Iran-made short-range and mid-altitude ‘Third of Khordad’ missile defense shield to bring down the US spy drone over the country’s Southern coasts on Thursday. A US-made Global Hawk spy drone was shot down by the IRGC on the Southern coasts of Iran in Hormozgan province today, using its powerful air defense system named Third of Khordad. The IRGC announced in a statement early Thursday that the US-made Global Hawk surveillance drone was brought down by its Air Force near the Kouh-e Mobarak region in the Central district of Jask after the aircraft violated Iran’s airspace. The RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS) can fly at high altitudes for more than 30 hours, gathering near-real-time, high-resolution imagery of large areas of land in all types of weather. Meantime, a US official said a US Navy MQ-4C Triton high-altitude drone was shot down by Iranian surface-to-air missile. The IRGC Aerospace Force unveiled the Third of Khordad air defense system with the capability to trace four targets and destroy them with eight missiles all at once in 2014. The Third of Khordad air defense system which was completely designed and manufactured by Iranian experts was unveiled during the Supreme Leader’s tour of the IRGC’s Aerospace Exhibition, where state-of-the-art equipment and hardware were showcased. The Third of Khordad air defense system was manufactured in 18 months and can trace all types of flying targets within a range of 75 kilometers. The Third of Khordad air defense system can trace and target fighter jets, bombers and cruise missiles up to 27,000 meters (81,000ft) high. All its components have been placed in a vehicle and its radar, tracing and missile-launching systems have been improved. An IRGC Aerospace Force commander said in 2014 that the defense system can be compared to the sophisticated S-300 long-range air-defense missile shield, adding that its range will be increased to 100km and then 200km in future. IRGC Commander Major General Hossein Salami confirmed downing of a US spy drone on the Southern coasts of Iran on Thursday, stressing that the move should alert Washington officials to stay away. “This morning, the IRGC Air Force bravely downed an enemy spy drone which had crossed our borders and was violating our national security,” General Salami said, addressing a congress in the Western province of Kurdistan on Thursday. He added that the incident sent “a clear message” to the US and other enemies that Iran will show a firm and crushing response to any aggression. “Borders are our red lines and any enemy which violates them will not go back home and will be annihilated. The only way for enemies is to respect Iran’s territorial integrity and national interests,” General Salami said. “We declare that we do not want war with any country but we are fully ready for war and the today incident was a clear instance of this precise message,” he underscored.

US official confirms Iran shot down drone, says it was in international airspace | The Times of Israel

Tehran reportedly used surface-to-air missile; Iran’s Revolutionary Guard says it hit Global Hawk as it entered Iranian airspace

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard chief: Downing US drone sends ‘clear message’ | The Times of Israel

Gen. Hossein Salami says Tehran is ready for war though no ‘intention’ for it; US official: Drone was shot down by surface-to-air missile in international airspace

Iran shoots down U.S. military drone in Gulf region – Reuters

Iran has shot down a U.S. drone which the elite Revolutionary Guards said on Thursday was flying over southern Iran, raising fears that a major military confrontation could erupt between Tehran and Washington.

Iran says it’s ‘completely ready for war’ after US official confirms it shot down American drone – ABC News

In a significant provocation Iran has shot down an unmanned MQ-4 Triton drone while it was flying in international airspace a U.S. official told ABC News

Live updates: Iran shoots down US drone – CNNPolitics

View the latest news and breaking news today for U.S., world, weather, entertainment, politics and health at

US Navy drone shot down by Iranian missile over Strait of Hormuz: source | Fox News

A U.S. high-altitude drone was shot down Thursday by an Iranian surface-to-air missile over the Strait of Hormuz amid heightened tensions in the region after last week’s attacks on two oil tankers, a source told Fox News.

Iran shoots down US drone aircraft – CNN

Iranian forces have shot down a United States military drone, a move that appears to have escalated the volatile situation playing out between Washington and Tehran in the Middle East.

Iran says it’s ‘completely ready for war’ after US official confirms it shot down American drone

In a major provocation, Iran shot down an unarmed and unmanned U.S. Navy MQ-4C Triton drone while it was flying in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz Thursday, a U.S. official told ABC News. The incident is sure to trigger serious discussions within the Trump administration about how to

Breaking: Iran allegedly downs US spy drone near Strait of Hormuz

BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:20 A.M.) – The Iranian military has allegedly shot down a U.S. drone that was flying near the Strait of Hormuz this morning. The

Iran shoots down US drone | World news | The Guardian

Iran says US ‘spy’ drone was flying in its airspace amid strained relations over last week’s oil tanker attacks

U.S. officials confirms Iranian missile shoots down MQ-4C Triton drone – Defence Blog

The U.S. officials have confirmed that the U.S. unmanned aircraft has been shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile while in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz. Reuters news agency, quoting U.S. officials, reported the drone was a U.S. Navy MQ-4C Triton high-altitude unmanned aircraft system. No further details were immediately available, including the time of the shoot-down. Reuters also added that the aircraft’s manufacturer, Northrop Grumman, says on its website that the Triton can fly for over 24 hours at a time, at altitudes higher than 10 miles, with an operational range of 8,200 nautical miles. Later, a U.S. official told ABC News that the U.S. Navy MQ-4C Triton was shot down by an Iranian surface to air missile while the reconnaissance drone was flying in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz. Earlier, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said it had shot down a US drone over Iranian airspace, near Kuhmobarak in the southern province of Hormozgan. The IRGC announced in a statement on Thursday that the US-made Global Hawk surveillance drone was brought down by its Air Force near the Kouh-e Mobarak region in the Central district of Jask after the aircraft violated Iran’s airspace.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard shoots down US drone – YouTube

Al Jazeera English Published on Jun 20, 2019 The US says an Iranian surface-to-air missile shot down one of its military drones in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz. It’s believed the drone was being used for high-altitude surveillance This comes hours after Iran’s Revolutionary Guard made a similar announcement. But Tehran is disputing the location of the incident, saying it violated Iranian airspace in the south of the country. According to a statement posted by the Revolutionary Guard, the drone was flying over the Hormozgan province. Earlier, a spokesman for the US Central Command said no drone flew over Iranian territory, but he refused to comment when asked if a US drone had been shot down.

IRGC Claims US Spy Drone Shot Down Over Hormuzgan Province – Report – Sputnik International

The report comes amid increased tensions between Iran and the US, with Washington announcing a new deployment of additional forces to the Middle East, including a Patriot missile battalion, drones and manned surveillance aircraft.

Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton – Wikipedia

Islamic Republic of Iran Air Defense Force – Wikipedia

S-200 (missile) – Wikipedia

Iran unveils new Bavar 373 long-range mobile air defense system – Defence Blog

On the occasion of the National Defense Industry Day which falls on 21 August, the Iranian president visited Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO) at the Ministry of Defense to take a tour of the Ministry’s capabilities in various areas including fighter and civil aircraft, helicopters, drones as well as new technologies. That was reported by Hassan Rouhani also observed the latest achievements and developments in these strategic arenas including design and construction phases of the first national turbojet aircraft. Rouhani, who was accompanied by the Iranian Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan during the visit, also viewed various sections of Bavar-373 (meaning ‘Belief’) long-range mobile air defense system which has been designed and constructed by Iranian scientists and experts at AIO in collaboration with Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Base as well as scientific and research centers of the country. Bavar-373 uses a phased array radar like Russian 96L6 radar for tracking aerodynamic targets and ballistic missiles in medium to long ranges, mounted on the ZAFAR heavy truck.

Raad (air defense system) – Wikipedia

On May 2014 IRGC unveiled four different configuration of Raad air defense system, 3rd Khordad TELAR which is equipped with Taer-2B missiles, a phased array radar and is able to control two TELs, Tabas TELAR which features a white dome radar and uses Taer-2A missiles, Alam al hoda TEL which is equipped with electro-optical tracking systems, another system was also seen named Raad-2 which has a new wheeled TEL and uses electro-optical systems on separate vehicles with a range of 80 km.[7][8][9]

Bavar 373 – Wikipedia

Sayyad-2 – Wikipedia

Sayyad-1 – Wikipedia

2K12 Kub – Wikipedia

Oil prices jump nearly 3% after official says US drone was shot down

Oil jumped nearly 3% to above $63 a barrel after Iran shot down a U.S. military drone, raising fears of conflict between the U.S. and Iran.

Lindsey Graham: If Iran ‘attacks shipping again,’ US should consider ‘taking out their Navy, oil refineries’ | Fox News

The Trump administration should consider taking serious actions if Iran further disrupts shipping activity or enriches uranium toward weapons-grade, according to Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

Top Iranian official: ‘There will not be a military confrontation’ with U.S. – POLITICO

The Trump administration appeared to escalate tensions with Tehran two days earlier by announcing the deployment of 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East.

Trump Tells His Team to Tone Down the Tough Talk on Iran

For months, the Trump administration has been talking in increasingly alarming terms about the Iranian threat. Now, the president wants his people to cool down the hot rhetoric.

Iran says if it decides to block Strait of Hormuz, it will do it ‘publicly’ – Fars – Reuters

Iran’s military denied on Monday being behind attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week, and said if it decided to block Strait of Hormuz, a vital gateway in the Gulf for the oil industry, it will do it publicly.

Iranian Official Calls On World to Unite Against ‘Savage Monster’ U.S. As GOP Lawmakers Push for ‘Striking’ Militarily

“The U.S. has destabilized security of the international system through unilateralism and extra-terrestrial sanctions,” Ali Shamkhani said.

Iran news: Russia says US trying to “provoke war” after tanker attacks with troop surge – Latest updates – CBS News

China also urges restraint from Iran, but puts blame for soaring tension in Mideast largely on Trump administration after troop surge announcement

Trump says Iran attacked 2 oil tankers. His critics agree. – Vox

Rep. Adam Schiff and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are prominent Trump critics who agree Iran is behind the oil tanker attacks.

Close up to stricken oil tanker with the US Navy – BBC News

The BBC’s Mark Lowen sees the damage caused to one of the oil tankers attacked in the Gulf of Oman.

Limpet mine used in oil tanker attacks ‘bears striking resemblance’ to similar Iranian Mines, US Navy says | Fox News

The limpet mine used on a Japanese-owned oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz “bears a striking resemblance” to other Iranian mines, U.S. Navy officials said.

U.S. Navy says mine fragments suggest Iran behind Gulf tanker attack – Reuters

The United States sought on Wednesday to bolster its case for isolating Iran over its nuclear and regional activities by showing limpet mine fragments it said came from a damaged oil tanker and saying the ordnance looked Iranian in origin.

U.S. Navy Says Mine Fragments Point to Iran in Tanker Attack – The New York Times

The United States has blamed Iran for the attacks in the Gulf of Oman, and officials said that fingerprints and other evidence could be used to build a criminal case.

Gulf tanker sabotage: U.S. says mines bear ‘striking resemblance’ to Iranian devices

The claim doubles down on Washington’s belief Iran was behind the attacks on the two ships in the Gulf of Oman. Iran has denied any involvement in the incident.

Pentagon hits back after Moscow calls Middle East troop plans ‘provocative’

The U.S. Department of Defense has hit back at Russian officials who have criticized a U.S. plan to deploy more troops to the Middle East.

Russia, China warn US over sending 1,000 new troops to the Gulf | News | Al Jazeera

Deployment of 1,000 troops to Middle East shows US on ‘a conscious course to provoke war’ with Iran, Moscow says.

A Dangerous Game of Nuclear Brinkmanship – Foreign Policy

By threatening to breach the nuclear deal, Tehran hopes to scare Europe into prodding the United States back to the negotiating table. It may not work.

Iran has invested in allies and proxies across the Middle East. Here’s why they matter now. – The Washington Post

Iran’s proxies could prove potent assets for Tehran if the crisis with the U.S. boils over into war.

World War 3 news: Iranian official hits out at US in devastating attack on Donald Trump | World | News |

IRAN has launched an incredible attack against the US as tensions between the two countries continue to escalate.

Pompeo warns Iran about trigger for U.S. military action as some in administration question aggressive policy – The Washington Post

Some officials question whether pressure on Iran exceeds President Trump’s specific goal of preventing the country from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

How to Step Back from the Brink with Iran – Defense One

Right now, everything both sides do to strengthen their defenses looks to the other side like preparation for attack.

The Iran crisis was created in Washington. The US must be talked down | Simon Tisdall | Opinion | The Guardian

Trump could accidentally trigger another calamitous Middle East war, says foreign affairs commentator Simon Tisdall

Pentagon claims new photos show Iran responsible for tanker attacks – POLITICO

The Pentagon says the evidence is absolutely clear.

Is Washington’s ‘Maximum Pressure’ Bringing An End To Iran’s ‘Strategic Patience?’

Tehran appears to be shifting away from its so-called strategy of strategic patience in the escalating crisis with Washington. Analysts say Iran’s aim is to apply pressure on the United States and …

U.S. Resident Freed After 4 Years In Iranian Prison On Espionage Charges : NPR

Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese citizen, was recently released from Iran’s notorious Evin Prison, where he served nearly four years.

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