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

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

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

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