Spar
Posts: 487
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Re: What drones were used against Saudi Arabia?

Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:26 am

Quoting myself:
Spar wrote:
Interestingly enough, this complex at Abqaiq–Khurais is a good approximation for the defense needs of a large airbase; it's 17 mile or so perimeter is about what an airbase would need defended.


Maybe the lesson to be learned from this episode is larger than just the Saudi refineries. A comparable drone force to the Sept 14th attacks which consisted of 25 vehicles could take out an entire airbase, they could punch through the doors of the berms and hangars and seek out targets on the runways and tarmacs. Double the size of the attack and the effect would be longer lasting. I think that money spent on airbase defense would be be far more productive than blowing it on shiny new F-15s which are unneeded anyway.

As is, this appears to be 9-11 redux waiting in the wings.
 
Planeflyer
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Re: What drones were used against Saudi Arabia?

Mon Sep 30, 2019 3:48 am

Spar wrote:
Quoting myself:
Spar wrote:
Interestingly enough, this complex at Abqaiq–Khurais is a good approximation for the defense needs of a large airbase; it's 17 mile or so perimeter is about what an airbase would need defended.


Maybe the lesson to be learned from this episode is larger than just the Saudi refineries. A comparable drone force to the Sept 14th attacks which consisted of 25 vehicles could take out an entire airbase, they could punch through the doors of the berms and hangars and seek out targets on the runways and tarmacs. Double the size of the attack and the effect would be longer lasting. I think that money spent on airbase defense would be be far more productive than blowing it on shiny new F-15s which are unneeded anyway.

As is, this appears to be 9-11 redux waiting in the wings.

Agree, drone swarms, combined with stealth uav’s and 5 th gen ac are going to put even heavily defended infrastructure in harms way.
 
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smithbs
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Re: What drones were used against Saudi Arabia?

Tue Oct 01, 2019 3:51 am

Spar wrote:
RetiredWeasel wrote:
Why would you assume any more sophistication that simple GPS? I can program my Mavic Pro to climb to 400', four miles away, and then proceed to impact my head (within a meter) standing on the ground. All it takes is accurate coordinates and elevation.


I got that from the Defense News link that Ozair posted. (Uzi) Rubin said what stands out about the Abqaiq incident is that the homing by the drones appeared to be optical, not GPS-guided.

Optical could be either joystick controlled or target recognition software, but I suspect target recognition software.


Target recognition would be good for the attacker because you wouldn't need guidance personnel within LOS. But wouldn't you need recon photos of the target along the flight path vector?
 
Spar
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Re: What drones were used against Saudi Arabia?

Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:39 am

smithbs wrote:
Spar wrote:
RetiredWeasel wrote:
Why would you assume any more sophistication that simple GPS? I can program my Mavic Pro to climb to 400', four miles away, and then proceed to impact my head (within a meter) standing on the ground. All it takes is accurate coordinates and elevation.


I got that from the Defense News link that Ozair posted. (Uzi) Rubin said what stands out about the Abqaiq incident is that the homing by the drones appeared to be optical, not GPS-guided.

Optical could be either joystick controlled or target recognition software, but I suspect target recognition software.


Target recognition would be good for the attacker because you wouldn't need guidance personnel within LOS. But wouldn't you need recon photos of the target along the flight path vector?

You could use GPS to get it in the general area. Such as if you were attacking an airbase you could use GPS to get it to the base and then switch to optical to target individual planes. As far as pictures of a refinery, you wouldn't necessarily need a photo of that particular refinery, you could use stock photos of generic parts of refineries. Satellite photos would provide the general locations. This method would defeat radio jamming of the attacking drone, because once it was in the general area it would not need any more comms of any kind.

There is a new video, which is of the attack while it was taking place.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3MqGmUwg9c

One of the reasons I thought it might have been optical target recognition was that there were 25 vehicles and I thought it very unlikely that there were 25 people with joysticks guiding the drones or cruise missiles in. I thought that if there were only a few remotes controlling the missiles they would have to be attacking one at a time and and I thought that would be quite dangerous for the guy or guys controlling the drones, because I'm sure they don't have satellite comms like the US, so they would have to be close to the target; within line of sight I assume.

But the new video makes it look as if they did come in one at a time. Yet that may be just a result of the way the video was compiled.
 
RickNRoll
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Re: What drones were used against Saudi Arabia?

Tue Oct 01, 2019 6:24 am

The Iranians have a smart glide bomb. Four of these can be carried on a single drone. The display of the wreckage seems to show parts of these glide bombs. They look like short, stubby rockets. The four round tanks look like they were all hit by something fired from the same place. Iran is close enough to allow direct control of the most advance Iranian drone but Yemen is to far away.
 
Spar
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Re: What drones were used against Saudi Arabia?

Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:41 am

RickNRoll wrote:
The Iranians have a smart glide bomb. Four of these can be carried on a single drone. The display of the wreckage seems to show parts of these glide bombs. They look like short, stubby rockets. The four round tanks look like they were all hit by something fired from the same place. Iran is close enough to allow direct control of the most advance Iranian drone but Yemen is to far away.


Can you give a link to any pictures of the sites that give any indication of a glide bomb, I'd like to see that. The direction of the attack on the tanks was from the WNW, but that doesn't mean much.

Even if you were to take into account islands in the Gulf owned by Iran, the closest is over 100 miles away from the closest of the targeted sites. In order to guide a drone via optical link, you need to feed the video to the operator and that means UHF frequencies which in turn means line of sight distance of transmission of the video feed. Line of sight is will be under 20 miles for something within 100 feet altitude, which the drone would need to be in its terminal phase. So the flights could not have been directed from Iranian territory.

That part of Saudi Arabia is the Shiite inhabited part of the country and frequently experiences acts of rebellion against the Saud family's interests. So it is not impossible that the drones were controlled from a location inside Saudi Arabia (if they were in fact guided via video link).

It would also be technically possible to have controlled the drones from an aircraft anywhere within about 200 miles of the targets. But such a plane would have been visible to radar and anyone looking back on their radar logs would be able to identify such a suspicious flight. If that were the case, I think we would have heard about it by now.
 
WIederling
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Re: What drones were used against Saudi Arabia?

Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:03 am

smithbs wrote:
Spar wrote:
Optical could be either joystick controlled or target recognition software, but I suspect target recognition software.


Target recognition would be good for the attacker because you wouldn't need guidance personnel within LOS. But wouldn't you need recon photos of the target along the flight path vector?


Keeping those distinct tank shapes centered per image recognition should not be too difficult. Even without sample images.
Get into the vicinity via GPS waypoints. ( any hobbyist autopilot can do that.google: open source autopilot)
No idea if there are celestial (using visuals) autopilots around. software for star trackers exists. That would obviate GPS.
Few clouds in the desert, right?
Murphy is an optimist
 
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bikerthai
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Re: What drones were used against Saudi Arabia?

Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:43 pm

Planeflyer wrote:
Agree, drone swarms, combined with stealth uav’s and 5 th gen ac are going to put even heavily defended infrastructure in harms way.


But as the sophistication of the hardware increases, the easier it is to track it back to the source. Then the more readily response would be to retaliate. Perhaps Iran does not think the Saudi have the capability to retaliate, thus the blazon attack. The best way for the Saudi to deter future attack is to clandestinely retaliate for this operation to avoid all out war. The message would deter future attack. Not sure if the Saudi's at up to the task though. If this was Israel, there would have/will be a sufficiently equivalent response.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
RickNRoll
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Re: What drones were used against Saudi Arabia?

Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:25 am

Spar wrote:
RickNRoll wrote:
The Iranians have a smart glide bomb. Four of these can be carried on a single drone. The display of the wreckage seems to show parts of these glide bombs. They look like short, stubby rockets. The four round tanks look like they were all hit by something fired from the same place. Iran is close enough to allow direct control of the most advance Iranian drone but Yemen is to far away.


Can you give a link to any pictures of the sites that give any indication of a glide bomb, I'd like to see that. The direction of the attack on the tanks was from the WNW, but that doesn't mean much.

Even if you were to take into account islands in the Gulf owned by Iran, the closest is over 100 miles away from the closest of the targeted sites. In order to guide a drone via optical link, you need to feed the video to the operator and that means UHF frequencies which in turn means line of sight distance of transmission of the video feed. Line of sight is will be under 20 miles for something within 100 feet altitude, which the drone would need to be in its terminal phase. So the flights could not have been directed from Iranian territory.

That part of Saudi Arabia is the Shiite inhabited part of the country and frequently experiences acts of rebellion against the Saud family's interests. So it is not impossible that the drones were controlled from a location inside Saudi Arabia (if they were in fact guided via video link).

It would also be technically possible to have controlled the drones from an aircraft anywhere within about 200 miles of the targets. But such a plane would have been visible to radar and anyone looking back on their radar logs would be able to identify such a suspicious flight. If that were the case, I think we would have heard about it by now.


Wiki :)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shahed_129
Image

This is the current state of the art drone in Iran.

It can carry four of these glide bombs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadid-345

Image

From pictures of the drone wreckage

Image

They look very similar to me. If not the same device then similar concept.
 
Spar
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Re: What drones were used against Saudi Arabia?

Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:52 am

RickNRoll wrote:
They look very similar to me. If not the same device then similar concept.

It is obvious that the Shahed 129 drone and those two pictures are three completely different vehicles. Not even close, the sadid 345 is much smaller than the Quds 1 type rocket in the bottom picture and it has square fins mounted near midsection with canard flight control, while the Quds uses deflection of the rear mounted fins.

Of course they are similar concept; all rockets are long and skinny and usually round with fins to control flight.
 
RickNRoll
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Re: What drones were used against Saudi Arabia?

Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:54 pm

The Shahed 129 can return. They don't crash into the target, they fire the ordnance and return to base.
 
Spar
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Re: What drones were used against Saudi Arabia?

Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:27 pm

RickNRoll wrote:
The Shahed 129 can return. They don't crash into the target, they fire the ordnance and return to base.

Shahed 129 launches its ordnance, it does not "fire" anything. It is not a gun, it does not carry a gun. It is a copy of the US MQ-1 Predator drone which the CIA was so kind as to donate to the Iranians for their design bureau.. It is not a nap of the earth weapon, as are cruise missiles and the one way drones used in the Sept 14th attack.

This is not what created the holes in the oil separators.
 
mham001
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Re: What drones were used against Saudi Arabia?

Thu Oct 03, 2019 6:20 pm

Spar wrote:

Even if you were to take into account islands in the Gulf owned by Iran, the closest is over 100 miles away from the closest of the targeted sites. In order to guide a drone via optical link, you need to feed the video to the operator and that means UHF frequencies which in turn means line of sight distance of transmission of the video feed. Line of sight is will be under 20 miles for something within 100 feet altitude, which the drone would need to be in its terminal phase. So the flights could not have been directed from Iranian territory.


Iran has at least one communication satellite, why couldn't it be used for drones just like everybody else?

Spar wrote:
129 launches its ordnance, it does not "fire" anything. It is not a gun, it does not carry a gun. It is a copy of the US MQ-1 Predator drone which the CIA was so kind as to donate to the Iranians for their design bureau.. It is not a nap of the earth weapon, as are cruise missiles and the one way drones used in the Sept 14th attack.


So based on the claim above, are you saying that drone can only fly within line of sight? That they could not direct it by satellite to a position from where it could drop the glide bombs?

You spend a lot of time trying to convince people Iran cannot possibly be responsible for anything. Whatever happened to that bomb/mine they snatched off that oil tanker you insist they did not attach? I've been anxiously awaiting the results of their investigation into the true source. Any news on that?

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