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The Military Technology

Iran Unveils Its First UAV Bomber 574

Posted by samzenpus
from the hands-free-destruction dept.
ms_gen writes "Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unveiled today the first UAV bomber produced by Iran. The drone, named Karrar (farsi for Striker) can carry various types of bombs. It can reach up to 900 km/h in speed and has a range of 1000 kilometers (620 miles). The Iranian president mentions that 'Karrar is a symbol of the progress of defence technology in Iran.'"
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Iran Unveils Its First UAV Bomber

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  • by ScentCone (795499) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @05:55PM (#33334852)
    How can one summarize this bit of news, and leave out the fact that Iran refers to this UAV as "The Ambassador Of Death?" I mean, come on. That's the best part.
    • by the linux geek (799780) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @06:11PM (#33334984)
      I personally found it hilarious that he said: "This jet is a messenger of honour and human generosity and a saviour of mankind, before being a messenger of death for enemies of mankind," President Ahmadinejad said after unveiling the Karrar at a ceremony with defence officials." Gotta love the human generosity symbolized by weaponry.
      • by 404 Clue Not Found (763556) * on Sunday August 22, 2010 @06:14PM (#33335012)

        FINISH HIM!

        FRIENDSHIP!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Barrinmw (1791848)
        It must lose something in translation...
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by DigiShaman (671371)

          Wouldn't be so sure of that. Mahmoud seems to have this crazy idea that the 12 imam will only return to bring peace in the aftermath of war. I wager a bet that he wants to instigate war with Israel to fulfill that prophecy.

          But hey, what the hell do I know? I'm just another Slashdotter making observations about the public statements he has made.

    • by CaroKann (795685)
      "The Ambassador Of Death" sounds like the type of phrase Fox News would like. Is Iran intentionally angling for Fox attention? Why?
    • by icebike (68054) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @06:15PM (#33335016)

      Looks like a German V1 if you ask me. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V-1_flying_bomb [wikipedia.org]

      Except the Germans had the sense to put the bomb inside.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by RocketRabbit (830691)

        They are using what looks to be a 500 lb bomb on an ordinary mounting hard point. This opens them up to using the same UAV for many different missions. There are literally dozens of different bombs, missiles, sensors, extra fuel tanks, and electronic warfare equipment that could likely be simply mounted to this UAV platform and sent up without complicated mission re-tasking. Using a common platform for UAV and cruise missile type operations seems sensible and reasonable.

        • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @10:22PM (#33336550) Homepage Journal

          Thing is, UAVs can be used offensively against low technology targets. For example dropping missiles on Taleban targets in the middle of the night. You can't use it against Israel because they know how to use radar, and a UAV will be easy to shoot down.

          What Iran needs is a terrain hugging cruise missile. It needs to be fast enough to get ahead of observations phoned ahead along the ground track. Ballistic missiles are less effective now that ballistic defense is more mature.

      • by roman_mir (125474) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:51PM (#33336096) Homepage Journal

        looks more like Tu-143 or Tu-141 [youtube.com]

    • by copponex (13876) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @06:21PM (#33335068) Homepage

      Damn straight. Heaven knows naming your UAVs something ominous is a sure sign of evil. Killing a few hundred innocent civilians per month with the lilly-themed "Predator" drones is something entirely different...

      All of these anti-war people complaining about the tens of thousands of dead civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan don't seem to understand: Iran has leaders who threaten violence, with really mean sounding words. How is it that they only seem to criticize America?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by swissmonkey (535779)

        That's probably due to the fact that Iran has never invaded another country, while it found itself attacked by Iraq without any valid justification. Back then Iraq was supported by pretty much the entire western world. I won't even go into how the CIA overthrew Iran's elected government to replace it with a dictatorship(the Shah)

        End result: Iran has every reason to build up its defences. History has shown Iran that the western world's propaganda about justice and fairness only applies to them, not to other

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          That's probably due to the fact that Iran has never invaded another country, while it found itself attacked by Iraq without any valid justification. Back then Iraq was supported by pretty much the entire western world. I won't even go into how the CIA overthrew Iran's elected government to replace it with a dictatorship(the Shah)

          End result: Iran has every reason to build up its defences. History has shown Iran that the western world's propaganda about justice and fairness only applies to them, not to other countries, that the western world will support unjustified attacks on Iran and thus they need to be able to defend themselves.

          Just one flaw in your logic: How is a UAV bomber a defensive weapon?

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by T Murphy (1054674)
            A UAV bomber can be used against enemy aircraft carriers, for example.
          • Just one flaw in your logic: How is a UAV bomber a defensive weapon?

            There is no such thing as a "defensive" or "offensive" weapon.

            For example a working ABM system is the most dangerous offensive weapon imaginable if introduced into a system of ICBM based MAD deterrence.

    • by Shihar (153932) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @06:54PM (#33335292)

      This thing is a gimmick. It is a small cruise missile with remote capabilities. The bomb on it is a tiny little dumb thing that isn't going to hurt anyone unless it hits them directly, and I am going to go out on a limb and say that the avionics on that drone don't amount to much more than a camera bolted on. In defense against the presumed target, the US, this thing is a novelty. The US gets giddy over electronic warfare and this thing is asking have its connection severed. The fuel and explosives are better spent on a missile that doesn't bother to return home and doesn't need an operator to guide it in. This does nothing to help the defense of Iran against the style of combat the US uses.

      If you are going to fight the US, and you are not China or Russia, you need to fight dispersed, hidden, and from cover. The only time it is worthwhile to fully stand and fight is if the victory you achieve is worth the destruction of the force you are having stand and fight. It is worthwhile to launch a massive simultaneous missile on a US carrier battle group with everything you have knowing that force will be destroyed. If you kill a carrier, the fact that you just destroyed your missile force is worth it. Outside of that though, you need to fight with the understanding that the US has the capability to glass the shit out of any arbitrary size of land using just conventional weapons. Your goal as the defender is to make it so that your forces are concealed and doing hit and runs, and so never standing around waiting to be glassed, or to fight from a position the US is unwilling to destroy. Namely, if you fight from a city the US won't level the city World War II style. They might knock down the buildings one by one trying to take out suspected military units, but the won't just level the place in one swipe like they could with a few MOABs. This glorified cruise missile doesn't help this style of fighting. It can't be launched by field units, and even if it could, it is going to lead the US back to your position assuming it even makes it back. You are better off to launch a missile that isn't expected to return or, even better, save the money to arm your city bound army with more and better RPGs.

      Personally, if I had to organize the defense of Iran from the US, the only conventional forces I would bother with would be sea mines and easily concealed cruise missiles. The only point of those forces would be to try and sacrifice themselves in doing damage to the ocean going invasion force. The rest of my defense would involve the army stripping down into civilian clothing the second the invasion hits and dispersing into the population with a plan, and giving everyone a (civilians included) gun. Train the army in guerrilla tactics, cache weapons and explosives all over the place, and never even make the pretense of fighting with uniforms on. Encourage the civilians to fight in their own amateurish way not to inflict any real harm, but to blur the line between military and civilian in the eyes of the enemy as much as possible. The only military tech worthwhile would be the kind useful to guerrilla forces. Bike bombs, all manner of concealed explosives, easily concealed weapons, concealed body armor, methods of communicating across cells and receiving orders, methods of smuggling, modified civilian vehicles (that still look civilian) with military applications, and that sort of thing are the techs worth developing in earnest. You still need the capacity to fight a conventional war against your neighbors, but the real threat, the US, is a fight you don't want to do standing up. The US loves nothing more than to see massive troop formations all lined up nice and orderly in a big open desert. See Iraq War part 1 for what happens to armies that stand.

      • by karlwilson (1124799) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @07:37PM (#33335580)

        The rest of my defense would involve the army stripping down into civilian clothing the second the invasion hits and dispersing into the population with a plan, and giving everyone a (civilians included) gun.

        Iran would never want their people to have weapons. The Iranian people would only use them to revolt against their own government.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by roman_mir (125474)

        It's all good and great, but it's not going to do much damage to the US forces. The REAL way to fight the US is from inside the US.

        What you do is you buy a few nukes and disperse them in the most important cities and then blow half of them and promise to blow the other half if the US doesn't stop with its invasion.

        That's the only true way to actually STOP an attack by US, nothing else will stop them, they can only be stopped from inside US itself.

        The problem with US is that it is too far from the Middle Eas

      • by mjwx (966435) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:40PM (#33336026)

        This thing is a gimmick. It is a small cruise missile with remote capabilities. The bomb on it is a tiny little dumb thing that isn't going to hurt anyone unless it hits them directly, and I am going to go out on a limb and say that the avionics on that drone don't amount to much more than a camera bolted on. In defense against the presumed target, the US, this thing is a novelty. The US gets giddy over electronic warfare and this thing is asking have its connection severed. The fuel and explosives are better spent on a missile that doesn't bother to return home and doesn't need an operator to guide it in. This does nothing to help the defense of Iran against the style of combat the US uses.

        Yep, it's a cruise missle from the 60's with RTB functionality.

        But lets look at who it will be used against.
        1. United States and coalition forces in Afghanistan. No, They are theocratic, not stupid. Their war against the US is propaganda only. Even weakened, NATO could crush them like a paper cup if given any motivation.
        2. Israel. No, aside from having the most advanced air defence network in the middle east, attacking Israel is stupid for political reasons. The Persians and the Israeli's get along like a house on fire, giving Israeli Persians a reason to liberate their former homeland is suicide for the Islamic Republic. So again their war is purely propaganda.
        3. Remnants of Iraq. Quite possible if things get even more out of hand there, which is likely. If more extremist pro-Arab groups take root Iran becomes threatened (as does Saudi Arabia).
        4. Syria, also possible. Despite getting along in the past, relations between Damascus and Tehran have become strained in recent years.
        5. Pakistan, maybe. Pakistan is having it's own problems with extremist Muslim groups. Pakistan the state is no threat to Iran but if that state falls who is to say.
        6. The other Stans (Tajikistan, Uzbekistan), not likely, they dont have the money or organisation to strike Iran but still possible.

        So this weapon was not designed to deliver righteous death to the western capitalist pig-dogs but rather to defend against Iran's real threats, Syria, Former Iraq and possibly the Stans. It is Iran's neighbours who have the capacity, motivation and gumption to draw Iran into a lengthy and costly conflict where such weapons will be needed.

      • by couchslug (175151) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @09:17PM (#33336216)

        That's the way to go, and beats suicidal gestures by conventional forces.

        The US is sufficiently beholden to modern laws of war (whose goal is to outlaw effective war and whose outcome is frequently PROTRACTED war) that it can't fight unconventional wars without spending too much money. The US can reduce own-side casualties to historically trivial levels, and can stay as long as it will spend money, but it can't fight economically.

        This wouldn't work against a genuinely unconstrained opponent (who could cheerfully destroy the whole country) but genuinely unconstrained nation-state forces haven't existed since WWII.

        There IS a conventional bomb suitable for fighting urban warfare. The FOAB ensures Russia has a much nicer option than fighting in cities, which didn't work out so well. The best way to fight in urban areas is to destroy them and kill everyone in them, which until recently required inconvenient and embarrassing nukes. The US can't ever use such a thing, but it is impressive:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3Cpnq4wFx0&feature=related [youtube.com]

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by sribe (304414)

        The rest of my defense would involve the army stripping down into civilian clothing the second the invasion hits and dispersing into the population with a plan, and giving everyone a (civilians included) gun.

        Yeah, in general, your post makes a lot of sense. But if you were in charge of Iran's defenses, and I were in charge of the US invasion, I would press full-speed ahead until the moment where you gave every civilian a gun, then turn around and leave ;-)

  • Farsi?? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    It's called Persian. You don't go around saying "in espanol it's called..." do you?

    • Re:Farsi?? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Clandestine_Blaze (1019274) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @06:18PM (#33335040) Journal

      It's called Persian. You don't go around saying "in espanol it's called..." do you?

      THANK YOU! Here's a PDF [iran-heritage.org] that lays out some of the arguments against calling the language Farsi. We don't go around calling the English that people from Boston speak as "Bostonese", do we?

    • by linumax (910946) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:16PM (#33335880)
      Whether you call it Farsi or Persian, Karrar is neither. It's Arabic and while many Arabic words and phrases are used in everyday Farsi, "Karrar" is definitely not one. As a native Farsi speaker with some knowledge of Arabic, I had to look the meaning up. Generally, the government has some fetish of putting Arabic names on everything, especially anything military related to make them sound more "holy" since Arabic is language of Islam.
  • Typical (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Just what I'd expect from Iran, the use of UnAmerican Vile Bombers. So unlike the Righteous Holy American Bombers used by our own beloved military. It's like how Iraq stooped to deploying weapons of mass destruction; something we'd never dream of doing. At this rate we're going to have to liberate the entire world.

  • Ok really... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @06:10PM (#33334978)
    Ok, really Iran? If you really want to be credible, you have to stop announcing military things when you have a "civilian" project going. So first off you make a nuclear reactor come online. No problem there, then on the same day you announce that you've upgraded your weaponry... I really, really want to believe that Iran just wants to use the energy for peaceful purposes... But with timing like this... it isn't going to make the west trust you anymore Iran.
  • V-1 with turbojet (Score:5, Informative)

    by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @06:13PM (#33335002)

    Video of a test launch and production.

    http://vodpod.com/watch/4282312-iranian-karrar-drone [vodpod.com]

    Looks alot like a V-1 or Loon but with hard points on the wings and turbojet instead of pulse jet. So late 50s technology designed with CAD. Probably a 30-40% failure rate on them too, that's standard for first or second generation cruise missiles/drones.

    • by GreatBunzinni (642500) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @06:46PM (#33335236)

      Looks alot like a V-1 or Loon but with hard points on the wings and turbojet instead of pulse jet. So late 50s technology designed with CAD. Probably a 30-40% failure rate on them too, that's standard for first or second generation cruise missiles/drones.

      I guess that the Germans in 1940 made a whole lot of comments of that sort when they started to see Russia's T-34s entering action. How did that went out?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Wyatt Earp (1029)

        The Germans were impressed with the T-34, especially the gun and suspension. They were not impressed with the build quality and never did wrap their heads around volume over quality.

        The Americans too built inferior tanks in greater numbers which overwhelmed them in Africa and the Western Front.

        American tanks had better radios, higher speed and better engines. Germans had good guns, good optics and really good armor.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by slonik (108174)

          American tanks had better radios, higher speed and better engines.
          Better engines... You must be kidding. Sherman tank was gasoline powered and was nicknamed "torch on wheels" for bursting in flames much more easily compared to its diesel counterparts.

          • Re:V-1 with turbojet (Score:5, Informative)

            by phayes (202222) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @10:40PM (#33336652) Homepage

            Shermans were much more commonly nicknamed "Ronsons" for their likelyhood to brew up when hit yet Shermans won the great majority of their fights against the "better designed" Panzers. As a captured german tank commander one said: Each of our Panzers is better than 10 of yours. Unfortunately for us, you always seem to have a dozen to every one of ours.

            The reason that the US had so many Shermans is that they froze the design early and ramped up production. The Germans were continually tweaking their designs, making them "better" and more complicated thereby slowing production to a relative crawl.

            The one thing most returning tank commanders regretted about the shermans after the war was not the motor & it's gasoline engine but that it was undergunned. Had they produced more Fireflys with the british 17 pounder many fewer US tanks would have been lost as they would not have had to close to short range (& take the neccesary casualties) to finish off the panzers.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Zeinfeld (263942)
      Looks alot like a V-1 or Loon but with hard points on the wings and turbojet instead of pulse jet. So late 50s technology designed with CAD. Probably a 30-40% failure rate on them too, that's standard for first or second generation cruise missiles/drones.

      Oh goody, so 60-70% of them will hit their target?

      As for late 50s technology designed with CAD, doesn't that describe NATO planes these days? Has there been a major breakthrough since the jet engine? Apart from fly by wire guidance systems which they wi

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Wyatt Earp (1029)

        There have been alot of break throughs.

        Engine technology has really taken off since the late 1950s.

        F-4E, so a late 1960s aircraft powered by J79-GE-17A - 11,905 lbf (52.9 kN) dry; 17,835 lbf (79.3 kN) with afterburner and weighs 3,850 lbs.

        Now F-22 has a F119-PW-100 - 23,500 pound feet of thrust 35,000+ lb with afterburner (156+ kn) weighs 3,900 lbs.

        So more then double the thrust at the same weight.

        F119 allows for supersonic flight up to Mach 1.35 without afterburner, the J79 required afterburner for super

      • Re:V-1 with turbojet (Score:5, Informative)

        by LWATCDR (28044) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @07:51PM (#33335686) Homepage Journal

        No.
        Turbofan engines, composite construction, FBW, advanced avionics. And F-22 or even F-15 really is in a totaly different class then an Mig-19, F-8, of F-105.

  • UAV heaven (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2010 @06:44PM (#33335228)

    The AI has been promised 72 virgin iPads after it completes it's mission.

  • by DieByWire (744043) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @07:57PM (#33335734)
    This is really part of the Pentagon's smaller budget. We're now getting the Iranians to build and launch new target drones for the US Navy.
  • Can we just... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by justthinkit (954982) <floyd@just-think-it.com> on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:21PM (#33335916) Homepage Journal
    Can we just bomb their nuclear reactor and take all their oil already and quit with the fake reasons to do so?
  • by SlappyBastard (961143) on Monday August 23, 2010 @12:31AM (#33337208) Homepage

    Iran's core military strategy is to send one guy with a rifle and ten unarmed guys behind him. The Iranians' grand military plan is to refight the Battle of Stalingrad. Even deploying this strategy, they basically fought Iraq to the ugliest stalemate since the trenches in France in 1915. A full-on war between the US and Iran would result in the equivalent of a one-sided Verdun every single week.

    A couple missiles aren't going to mitigate the fact that Iran has no strategic petroleum reserve and zero refining capacity. Its transport would fail in the first week of any war and agriculture couldn't last a year. Probably less if the attacker(s) launched a prolonged ground war in late winter (as is US tradition in the region) before crops go in the ground.

    A couple missiles are also not going to mitigate the fact that Iran would mostly depend on imported Hezbollah fighters to train its army how to fight a ground war the right way. And, frankly, you can't take a military modeled on the Red Army and convert it into a competent guerilla force like Hezbollah without years of advance planning. That planning hasn't happened. Iran doesn't have any commando force of any international reputation.

    In short, Iran is not prepared to fight the war it would need to fight to take advantage of its rough terrain.

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