I read this article on thedrive.com (http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/26289/irans-newest-homemade-drone-is-an-unmanned-conversion-of-a-1940s-american-jet-trainer) and it made me furious. I was going to leave a comment at the base, but when I read the other comments it made me vomit. So, I didn’t.
Why get furious?
Here’s the very simple point. The whole tone of the article is demeaning to Iran and Iranians. It’s as if, we (Iranians) are not supposed to advance. Even if we do, we’re put down for even trying.
Let’s pretend it’s true i.e. that this drone is a copy of a 1940’s American jet trainer. So, what? No body in Iran’s neighborhood i.e. no Afghans, no Turks, no Iraqis, no Saudi’s, no Emiratis, no Pakistanis are building drones! Its an achievement by ANY standard.
More importantly, building jet engines is not a trivial exercise. How many countries in the world have technology to build jet engines? Even if it’s a 1940’s jet engine replica, its an accomplishment. Rotating, high temperature systems are not trivial. The metallurgy, the bearings, the forgings, the machining are ALL non-trivial. And once you make the leap, i.e. build generation 1, then you can quickly advance.
The achievement is even greater considering Iran’s lack of access to resources, 40 years of continuous sanctions, and lack of indigenous industrial infrastructure to support this type of development. It makes it even more noteworthy.
But wait for it, Iran now also, on the back of these types of advances is making jet engines for small trainer jets, and rotating power plants. This means they DON’T have to buy foreign turbines to run natural gas power stations. Heck – that’s huge! How many countries can say that? Nigeria?? (No?) Saudi Arabia, with all its wealth? (No). Indonesia? (No). How many??
Then there is this small issue that even on a 1940’s propulsion backbone, the drone flies by wire. That for sure is a 21st Century innovation. And that too is huge.
You can’t take it away from Iran and Iranians. You simply can’t. And I am appalled by the arrogance and put down in the article and in the comment lines.
I am not a fan of the Mullahs, at all; but you can’t demean this type of achievement.
One final point. Iran’s Mullahs are set up to fight wars asymmetrically. You see it in the Persian Gulf where they take on big American destroyers with fleets of small, high speed patrol boats. They ‘swarm’ their enemies. It’s a military tactic that makes modern, large high-tech weapons almost redundant. There are too many targets to shoot at. All it takes is for one of these small boats to penetrate and boom the big boat can be hit – i.e. destroyed.
Similarly, no matter how bad and ancient this drone is, if they build thousands of them – they can be lethal.
To put the technology down, is simple arrogance and stupidity. These drones can be lethal – there is no question about that if they come at you in numbers.
So, does all this put down mean they are scared? Is this latent fear, expressing itself in the form of mockery?