Small Wars Journal

5 Times in History Enemies Shot Down a U.S. Drone

5 Times in History Enemies Shot Down a U.S. Drone by Cal Pringle – C4ISRNET

On Aug. 20, the United States linked the downing of an MQ-9 Reaper over Yemen by Houthi forces to Iran. Iran has supplied Houthi fighters with weapons and missiles in the past and the attack on the Reaper, reported by CNN, follows a summer of forces exchanging fires and downing drones.

Most notably, this summer included the June 20 shoot-down of a U.S. RQ-4 Global Hawk over the Strait of Hormuz by Iran. But these events are not entirely uncommon.

Unmanned aircraft have been a part of U.S. military operations since World War II and have led to leaps and bounds in mission capabilities. Drones allow the armed forces to undertake missions that would be too risky or impossible with manned aircraft, and uncertainty as to their presence in future military conflict is all but guaranteed. Countries around the world will increasingly operate on the drone axis, developing capabilities to both employ and combat against drones. After the expensive, high-profile destruction of a Global Hawk in Iran, some historical context of the destruction of U.S. drones by hostile forces is in order…

Read on.