Shoot-down of U.S. MQ-4C UAV indicates there are sophisticated air defenses in and around the Persian Gulf

Triton maritime reconnaissance UAV can fly as high as 56,500 feet -- a tough shot for even some of the world's most advanced surface-to-air missiles.

Mq 4 C Triton 20 June 2019

TAMPA, Fla. – Iranian forces shot down a sophisticated U.S. Navy Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton long-range maritime patrol unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operating in the Persian Gulf region Wednesday. Business Insider reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

20 June 2019 -- Whether or not this incident brings the U.S. and Iran closer to war is a secondary concern; what it means to me is it's a clear indication that Iran has sophisticated air defenses in the region that U.S. forces operating in and around the Persian Gulf should take care to respect.

The UAV shot down is a long-range, high-altitude, sensor-packed large UAV about the size of an F-16 jet fighter -- except with a much wider wingspan. It's designed specifically for ocean surveillance, and flies as high as 56,500 feet.

While we don't know the specific altitude at which the Triton UAV was shot down, it's likely it was near its maximum altitude. That's a tough shot for even some of the world's most advanced surface-to-air missiles. U.S. forces around the Persian Gulf should act accordingly.

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John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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