Even with the loss of not one, but two multi-million-dollar drones in recent weeks, the head of the US Defense Department says that America will “absolutely” continue stealth jets missions over Iran.
Despite these losses, the US Department of Defense is showing no signs of retreat, even if Tehran has insisted that they are well on their well to decoding the top-secret technologies under the hood of the recovered Sentinel. Speaking to Fox News this week, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that stealth missions into Iran will continue “absolutely,” despite ongoing opposition from overseas.
The first in a new fleet of drones departing air bases to patrol the international skies is the Avenger, a state-of-the-art stealth craft that serves as an updated edition to the arsenal of Predators and Reapers currently in America’s repertoire. With the ability to elude radar detection and bomb enemy targets with the help of internal weapons bays on each wing, the Pentagon will be sending the first new Avenger over to Afghanistan.
Given that the Taliban’s technology does not necessitate America to put in its skies an aircraft with the technologies as advanced as the Avenger, the decision to deploy the United States’ newest toy over Afghanistan is raising questions about the exact intentions of the craft.
America recently put a Sentinel drone over the skies of Afghanistan — or at least said they did — as part of a reconnaissance mission. The US lost contact with the craft, however, only later to deny its existence, eventually prompting the government of Iran to release footage of the craft they recovered after it was seen over its own skies. The US would later say that the drone must have wavered outside of its intended and into Iranian territory by mistake, though officials out of Tehran said the craft was intercepted around 140 miles from their border with Afghanistan.
Less than two weeks after Iran managed to hijack the craft and bring it down unscathed, the United States lost a second drone, as RT reported on Tuesday this week. Both attacks befell on the advanced machinery that are valued in the tens-of-millions of dollars apiece.