Iran Trains Students to Target Drones

Rq-170still3Officials with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard have reportedly started work to begin training high school students to target drones flying overhead, according to an Iranian newspaper.

Gen. Ali Fazli, a leader of the paramilitary unit, told the paper the military will incorporate the lessons into “Defensive Readiness” sections of the “civil defense” courses taught at high schools. 

Iran notably shot down an RQ-170 in 2011 revealing the secretive U.S. drone to the world. The government has also claimed to have shot down a U.S. Scan Eagle drone.

Iran leaders had said they’d use the RQ-170 and the Scan Eagle to help develop their own fleet of drones as tensions continue to grow between the U.S. and Iran. Of course, the Iranian industrial base is far behind the U.S. in terms of drone development.

However, the international market is starting to catch up to the drones flown by the U.S. military as seen at the AUVSI conference hosted last week in Washington D.C.

The U.S. military has recognized that it’s drones will not operate with impunity the way they have in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, Iranian high school students probably have not made it too high on their threat matrix.

But the methods of bringing down the drones are the ones that U.S. military leaders most fear — hacking into the operations system. Pentagon officials have long said the link between drone and operator is considered one of the most vulnerable aspects of the system.


About the Author

Michael Hoffman
Michael Hoffman is the executive editor at Tandem NSI and a contributor to He can be reached at

    Heck, we use rubber band guns and paper planes. Whats the difference?

  • hibeam

    Iran Trains Students to Target Drones. Maybe we should try that. Training students. Worth a try. It worked in the old days.

    • John

      Nah, then you would have all the liberals get their panties in a twist about how the government is trying to create Hitler’s Youth out of the school children through brainwashing and militarism.

      • orly?

        Taking the 2nd Amendment to the extreme means every infant born on American soil can own a handgun the moment they are born.

        Training is not mentioned.

        When the 2nd Amendment was made, if you weren’t trained how to fire a weapon, it was almost impossible to fire unless someone loaded it for you properly. Even then, you ONLY HAD ONE SHOT.

        Now the model regulated militia needs AA, Armor, and Air assets.

        Sounds like the NG don’t it?

        • blight_

          A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state…

        • William_C1

          Pretty simple (if time-consuming) to load and fire a black powder musket.

          • orly?

            Did they fire muskets individually, or as a unit?

            Train, or become a dangerous liability.

          • blight_

            “Fire at will” is just before being attacked by bayonets.

  • john

    How about leaving Iran and the rest of the world ALONE!

    • TLAM Strike

      We tried that between 1919 and 1941. The world had other plans.

      • jerry

        Well, no, we didn’t try that; instead, we made a treaty that kept Germany angry and baited Japan into attacking us.

        None of these comments distinguishes between “training” students and educating them. They are two different things; training is much easier but not part of what the Founding Fathers had in mind.

        • Christopher Bloom

          We refused to continue to Sell oil and Iron(steel) which they where using to attack China.

    • Leroy

      How about Iran stop funding terror organisations in Iraq, Lebanon and every where else its can spread “peace” first

      • Kim Scholer

        That’s like asking the US stop funding terrorists. Remember that one man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter.

        • David

          Iran and their proxy organizations have no interest in anyone’s freedom.

        • shawn1999

          Really? Which terrorists does the US support?

          • Viet Nam

            the US military, the US defense industry, the Wall Street gangs (such as Goldman Sachs), the Pentagon, the White House, the US Congress, rebels in Syria, Libya, Iran, China, Russia, Venezuela, Cuba, …

          • blight_

            You dare call Glorious Socialist Hugo Chavez (and his successor) and Fidel/Raul Castro terrorists?

            You are a traitor to World Socialism! You should be ashamed! Engels, Marx, Lenin and Stalin spit on your face.

          • Rest Pal

            Are you replying to Viet Nam or someone else?

            There is nothing in Viet Nam’s post about Hugo Chavez or Fidel Castro.

          • Dov

            The USA supports zionist settler nutcases practising terror and the activities of cannibal, wahabi, al qaeda freaks in Syria.

          • Robert Fritts

            For those of you up in arms over Israeli building on land Jordan forfeited by attacking Israel, I suggest you go there. For the last 20+ years all of the new settlements were build on land which was SOLD to the developers. Land may be claimed by countries or political movements, but it is owned by individuals. Nobody is forcing these capitalist Arabs to sell THEIR land.

          • Dov

            They are forcing with settler violence against those who do not want to sell. Clear terrorism. That is in a context of brutal, military occupation.

          • blight_

            Alternatively, it’s rich Palestinian landowners selling out and getting out with their money, leaving the peasants (in ‘murrica we would call them “middle America”, “working America”, etc) in the villages that aren’t sold to the settlements.

          • Dov

            Not rich while living under a brutal military occupation while many homes and lands are not sold, but taken by armed force.

          • blight_

            I was under the impression that the land was taken in ’67; and that there was no buying or selling, but that people are simply moved off the land at the leisure of the Israeli government.

      • Viet Nam

        Leroy, how about America stop funding terror organisations around the world, including its own terrorist military.

        • Rest Pal

          America stop funding terrorist organizations around the world?

          LOL. In your dreams. Not only will it not stop, it will expand terrorist attacks, e.g. in Syria (and then blame Assad for the crimes in the Western media - CNN, NBC, ABC, Fox etc). It might even try to get directly involved in another illegal invasion along with Britain, Canada, Australia etc.

    • Pat Patterson

      How about you moving to Iran.

      • Dov

        How about learning more about Iran, instead of relying on mainstream media like Fox “news”, for what you know?

  • John

    Iran is the 3rd oil producer in the world……sooner or later the U.S. will attack to “free” this country.

    • matt

      What a stupid comment….

      Iran is the number 4 oil producer in the world. Shortly (5-10 years) The U.S. is predicted to overtake Russia to be the worlds NUMBER 1 oil producer.

      Please do research before making uneducated comments, this isn’t Yahoo!

      • yogiberra111

        Sorry, U.S. will not overtake Russia to be the world’s number 1 oil producer. Please do research before making uneducated comments. This is not Yahoo. Also, it would help to think a bit.

        • Josh

          Some estimates claim there is more oil on US territory than the rest of the world combined. Why we don’t drill it and sell it is beyond me.

          • blight_

            Because it’s expensive.

            Texas sweet crude was good…until it disappeared. Then what remained could not compete on the world market (anyone willing to pay 3.50 a gallon in 1990 for hydraulic fracturing/tar sand/oil shale product”? Nope, gimme my dollar-twenty a gallon Saudi, Nigerian, Venezuelan, British juice please)

            It’s not until recently that the price has gone up enough that American supply is worth extracting. It’s possible the Middle East and Iran can stay in the game if they do offshore work…?

          • TartanSixNine

            blight_ is correct. We have a ton of oil, but it isn’t as “clean” as the oil that OPEC produces. That means we need to refine it more, which in turns means more expense and more pollution. The Green movement in the US has lobbied for many years to not allow new refineries in the US, which means we have to send it to refineries overseas. Again, more expense. Thus the cheapest route is to buy the already clean/refined oil from overseas. This imbalance will change in time.

          • blight_

            There’s a global refinery shortage. It’d be a golden opportunity for any coastal country near oil producers to get a modern refinery up to speed. Oil products can go to plastics, an organic synthesis industry, fuel…there’s more to oil than burning it for cars.

            Then once we run low on tar/shale/etc then Fischer Tropsch becomes profitable again, and it’s back to coal.

          • Thomas L. Nielsen

            A couple of things come into play here. One thing is how much oil there is estimated to be. Quite another is:

            1. How confident are you of the estimate?

            2. Even if the estimate is correct, how easy (or not) is the oil to actually get at?

            Regards & all,

            Thomas L. Nielsen

          • JCitizen

            Global Spec announced we were energy independent some time ago. Even the Canadians are getting nervous because demand for selling crude to the US has dropped off. Now that POTUS blocked the new pipeline they are scrambling to plan an alternate, but west coast scenarios are not good. It was supposed to go down to the Gulf, where the PRC could pick it up in new tankers designed for the newly rebuilt Panama Canal, (except it isn’t in the same location).

            What people forget is more oil was ruined in the US, in the 20’s, by poor fracking practices than is reserved in Saudi Arabia - new techniques to release “tight oil” as it is called, has already been successful, so we will be flush with new energy reserves for some time. We can now afford to export to China ourselves - for that matter.

          • blight_

            Thought the first fracturing was done in the ’50s, not the 20s?

            The new bottleneck is refining capacity, and ensuring that not all of our petroleum products are turned into fuel. There’s a number of industries which depend on petroleum.

          • JCitizen

            Texas literally went to marshal law in 1931, partially because of proration, but mostly because all the wildcatter’s were ruining the field by improper fracking - they were turning the whole field into paraffin.

            You’re right about refining being the bottleneck now.

          • blight_

            Thought wildcatting was about putting wells and drilling oil that didn’t belong to you? The loss in pressure by tons of random people all drilling the same field would have clear consequences for all involved, especially the one who paid mineral rights.

            I will go dig for Texas oil history information, hrm…

          • JCitizen

            I my location wildcatting meant individually owned oil drillers with their own equipment, using (usually) outdated equipment, and rarely under the supervision of any geologist or engineer that knows what hes doing. Drilling on land that you are trespassing on would get you shot; but I could see where mineral rights disputes could come up very easily - especially amoung ignorant land owners who know nothing about abstracting or proper surveying. Many farmers shot at each other here just over drilling water wells, so I’ll bite on that factor.

            The oil fields of Texas are generally acknowledged to have come under production about January 1901 - the drills were usually very crude instruments with a chisel on the end, and a steam powered hammer to knock it in the ground. Attempts at fracking were even more crudely “engineered”.

            I know a lot of old oilmen, and they all told me the worst problem was ruining the wells and causing them to turn to paraffin - which does have to do with pressure and chemistry - but was the result of ignorant drillers who were flooding the market. Eventually the law had to end this, or all of Texas oil reserves would be unusable. Much of the reserves in other states were already ruined. Much of those have been recovered now, using modern hot oil recirculators, but other recovery methods have to be instituted for asphaltene problems.

            It eventually came to be that the companies that knew how to do it right became the richest in the oil field, and were hired as contractors not only by the wildcatters, but the big companies as well. I was a good friend of one of them, and he became a millionaire just off doing fracking and well casing early in his business.


        How do you like them apples, Russia?!

        Main obstacle though: people that propose the US running off of wind power and solar panels.

  • Change Iran Now

    Seriously? I guess trying to teach them basic economics might be too depressing since the unemployment rates for Iranian youth is astronomical. You might think a nation would have better priorities for its youth than trying to teach them how to shoot down drones, but it certainly gives you an idea what Iran’s ruling mullahs think of the future for its young people. Iran has been remade by these clerical extremists to have economic despair, brutal human rights repression and a nuclear arms race throughout the Middle East. All for what? There’s not much of a bright future these kids can look forward to, especially since Rouhani is little no more than a public mask espousing moderation when in fact he’s a loyal, career hardliner. Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself at The only hope these kids have for the future is a regime change where they can chart their own futures.

    • Change Iran Now
    • shawn1999

      Seriously? Aside from the past-tense, where did you see that the Iranians were planning to shoot anything down? I read “Target” which, yes, could mean they are targeting to shoot down, or it could mean they are targeting to hack & override, or simply disrupt communications to/from. A drone that can’t communicate with its operator (I believe) has programming to ROTB. A drone which is heading home isn’t doing its job, and isn’t that just as effective as physically shooting it down? Especially when you know that the enemy will just keep putting out more and more to replace anything you shoot down physically, while you may be limited on anti-air munitions. Forcing it back to its base saves munitions, costs, denies the enemy the drone’s use, and, if desired, the drone can now be followed back to its base if you don’t know where it came from- find the base, destroy the base, and your munitions just became 1000% more effective, possibly disrupting a large number of operations, instead of just one drone’s use. Obviously, I have simplified things considerably, but I think you can see my point.

      Please don’t misunderstand- I fully agree that Iran is a huge problem, and their religious views and leadership (in fact, the views and leadership of the entire religion of Islam) is a threat to everyone else in the world (even to each other, since we have seen clearly how Muslims treat Muslims).

      • Change Iran Now
        • blight_

          “creating more doctors, engineers, entrepreneurs”

          That’s not Iran’s problem. A dirty secret is that in the states, we create doctors but not enough residency positions; engineers but a tight job market (plus H-1B imports). Entrepreneurs…can’t exactly outsource that position, but it’s a mindset, not something that can be created.

    • Steve

      Moslem nations do NOT coddle their youth as we have done for the past 40-50 in the USA! So no one should suppose they will teach or train their youth as we do in Our Schools…..Get off that thought process it has already cost us an excessive lesson or two…..When they get their Technical Training, they are a match for any nation’s technically trained youth…..They sure proved this with their EXCELLING in the Western World’s universities….

  • Change Iran Now
  • Tribulationtime

    Yes! The link is the Aquillees heel. That sounds like a Mr Manning quote!!. 57 mm airburst shooted by Radar guided cannon its a weakeness as well (He,He). Other hand Iran train students…? Some statements from the goverment of Iran or from the Media about Iran goes beyond my reasoning capacity.

    • Riceball

      Who is Aquillees? Do you mean Achilles?

  • Paul Allen

    Who says it was shot down? Nobody. Iran had nothing to do with the crash.

  • Jeff

    Iran may have already copied the RQ-170. Google Earth has pictures of wing shaped drones in Iran here:!topic/ge…

    • top dog

      Yeah but they are made out of paper….with no engine.

  • Cpl. Z. USMC

    I recall an article on awhile back that the Iranians had built thier own stealth fighter too. The thing was so FAKE it was hilarious. So now they are going to build thier own drones too? WHO is going to fly them? The kids over there dont know how to play video games. Poor kids are on roof tops trying to shoot down our drones instead of going to school and haveing fun at the arcade with thier friends.

  • top dog

    “Officials with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard have reportedly started work to begin training high school students to target drones flying overhead, according to an Iranian newspaper.”________________________________________________Training them is one thing, but if I were the students, I wouldn’t shoot at them. A drone can’t tell if you are in high school or not…and it subject to shoot back.

  • Cpl. Z. USMC

    Thats right Top Dog, drones dont care if your a high school student or a real bad guy. They just kill. especially if your shooting at them. You would think that with all of the Iranians nuclear ambitions they would be sending thier kids to school and not to target practice. That is of coarse, unless your a woman in Iran, and we all know they dont let them do anything even though they are more intelligent than 99.9% of the entire Iranian government.

    • Billy Bob fun boy

      “we all know”, really? Is that a royal we? You obviously don’t know as much as you like to think you do.

  • Newt

    “Iran notably shot down an RQ-170 in 2011” . “The government has also claimed to have shot down a U.S. Scan Eagle drone.” No, Iran brought down American drones by hacking. No shooting was involved.

    • Rest Pal


  • Charles James Haas

    It is hardly cetain how the RC-170 was lost. Could have been very likely a mechanical failure as much as anything.