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In the event of a catastrophic power/propulsion or forward momentum failure, the RQ-170's wing design will cause it to "glide" down in a "falling leaf" spiral, resulting in minimal damage. However, there are at least two backup systems to activate the self-destruct sequence. If the video by Iran is indeed the true images of the downed drone, then it would indicate that the chips were fried or interfered with so that it could not self destruct. A Possible EMP beam or a Stuxnet re-engineered"
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Originally posted by DJM8507
Actually the "Self Destruct" did indeed activate. The thing doesn't blow up, there are independent charges/thermite on the sensitive components inside of the aircraft. The reason they are covering up the bottom is to hide the holes that the thermite left as it melted through the more advanced electronics.
Originally posted by MahmoudAhmadinejad
You mean, the batteries in the xbox controller the pilots use didn't die
Also, if thermite was used, doesn't heat rise, and you see also damage to the top?edit on 9-12-2011 by MahmoudAhmadinejad because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by Aim64C
The idea they used Stuxnet to "counter infect" is pretty silly. Stuxnet operates on Windows, exploits a particular set of programs used to interface with PLC devices, and inserts specific code into a very narrow listing of devices and only interferes with them while they operate at certain critical rotational velocities (the type used in centrifuge-based Uranium refinement).
Basically, Stuxnet was designed specifically to royally # up a nuclear weapons program... on specific models of devices (in other words, a specific country and its known supply).
It's more likely that they jammed control signals. The drone ran itself out of fuel and activated its automatic recovery procedure - which is designed to minimize damage to the airframe. Its self-destruct devices would have activated, destroying sensitive electronics (the cryptography gear, likely processing architectures and firmware deemed sensitive) and any of its onboard data purged (if not flat out blown up).
Basically, they have a very expensive model airplane with the control circuitry removed. Woo!