An Iranian newspaper has reported that a new addition to the country’s school curriculum will include classes on the “hunting and downing of alien drones”.
The Fars News Agency (FNA) reported remarks made by General Ali Fazli, a commander during the Iran-Iraq war and now deputy commander of Iran’s Basij Forces – a paramilitary group of young volunteers.
“This year, we will witness changes in the contents, teachers and teaching hours of the defensive preparedness lesson," Fazli is quoted as saying, “and hunting of spy drones [...] is an example of this change of content.”
The FNA, a pro-reform daily paper, did not offer details of the lesson-plans, but noted that drone-hunting would only be one part of a larger “defensive preparedness curriculum” to be taught for two hours and three hours each week in junior and senior schools respectively.
It’s thought that these lessons will be orientated towards the hacking of drones’ controls, rather than shooting them down using weapons.
The most high-profile incident involving drones in Iran to date was the downing of Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel UAV in December 2011 (see above). Whilst the US claims that the aircraft malfunctioned and crashed, Iran says that it was hacked by the country’s cyberwarfare unit.
Iran has since claimed to have captured more foreign drones including a Boeing ScanEagle drone – a smaller model capable of being carried by an individual – and have begun producing their own replica devices.
However, Iran has a history of faking its military advances. In February this year it was revealed that images of the country’s new ‘stealth fighter’, the Qaher-313, had been photoshopped using scenery from a site named 'PickyWallpapers'.