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Help Us Decipher This Terrifying Video Of A Suicide Drone Flying Up An Armored Vehicle's Ramp [1/3] - Suicide Drone.png (1/1)
A frightening video has emerged showing what appears to be a suicide drone
attack on a wheeled armored vehicle that is surrounded by personnel. The drone
seems to be some rudimentary man-in-the-loop remote controlled setup with a
fixed forward-facing video camera and a single front-mounted propeller. It
catches the people milling around the center of the compound where the vehicles
are congregated by surprise as it makes its dive, literally flying up the rear
ramp of the armored vehicle before its video feed ominously cuts out.
One of the topics I have been most passionate about over the years is the threat
posed by low-end and now, in many cases, commercially available drones, as well
as the Pentagon's alarming lack of vision when it came to predicting their
transformation into weapons. To get up to speed on this issue, take a look at
these in-depth pieces of mine linked here and here.
Israel largely pioneered this concept on a military-grade level, but it really
emerged as a capability of non-state actors during the Battle Of Mosul. Fast
forward to today and it is now a very hot topic served up with plenty of bad and
sensationalist information by the mainstream media. Regardless, the presence of
lower-end enemy drones is a near-daily issue that our troops deal with overseas.
With this capability rapidly proliferating, the mysterious video below, which I
first saw on a Russian language Twitter account, is disturbing, but sadly not
all that surprising.
I have to be clear, I have no idea what the background is on this video or if it
is indeed authentic, although it certainly looks like it is after a close
examination. Even the drone intermittently losing line-of-sight radio
connectivity as it descends just feet off the ground looks accurate.
It is possible that it could have been a friendly unmanned aircraft that
malfunctioned, although that seems unlikely as it appears to be flown directly
into the ramp of a targeted armored vehicle. Even recovering a small
hand-launched drone in such a manner would be dangerous, but coincidences do
happen. Otherwise, it could be some very well made fake that I am not familiar
with, but that also seems improbable.
The location of the video is unknown, but the vehicles may give us some clues.
They appear to be similar to Stryker and LAV III Kodiak wheeled armored
vehicles. The two designs are very closely related, with the Stryker serving
with the U.S. and Thailand and the LAV III serving with Canada, Saudi Arabia,
Colombia, New Zealand, and Thailand. Considering the setting and what happens in
the video, it is nearly impossible for this attack to be involving Thailand,
Colombia, or New Zealand. So, if indeed they are of the LAV III/Stryker family,
it would seem that a U.S. or Saudi vehicle is being struck.
The Kingdom has been in a brutal conflict with Houthi rebels in Yemen, a group
that has leveraged suicide drones as a primary vengeance weapon over the last
half-decade. The country's lighter armor has definitely taken part in the
fighting. Maybe we are seeing a group of Saudi soldiers in the drone's video
feed as it makes its terminal attack run. Meanwhile, the U.S. has deployed
Strykers to major hot spots in the region in recent years, most notably in
What amazing readers we have! I received so many emails, DMs, comments, and
tweets regarding this video that varied widely as to what people thought they
were seeing and why. These came from top industry professionals to just
interested parties that wanted to share their thoughts. I also got some great
leads on future stories from it. I can't thank all of you enough.
Ok, now onto the answer! This may be one of those wild coincidences that I
There was some evidence regarding the configuration of this drone and some of
those used in Yemen that have Iranian ties. Yet the most valid evidence I
received was from a number of people that were familiar with one type of drone,
in particular. It appears the drone in question might very well have been a
Lockheed Desert Hawk III that either went haywire during recovery or that
received inaccurate coordinates for recovery.
Note the image below shows the Desert Hawk III type with the camera mounted on
its left wing leading edge and a very similar collapsable prop. The video below
also shows a similar data overlay arrangement to the one we see in the mystery
video. The aircraft, which was created with help from the Skunk Works, is made
primarily of polypropylene material and is designed to break apart on landing in
such a way that it can be easily reassembled for flight.
As for when and where the video was shot, that remains unclear, although the
video dates back to at least 2013, and possibly quite earlier. The user of the
drone is also unclear, although the Royal Army was the biggest adopter of it.
We continue to update this post as we find out more! And once again, thank you
for everyone's help in the investigation.
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