Reverse-Engineering the Drone? I don’t think so…

Sometimes, something strikes me in the funniest way. Maybe I’m underestimating my enemies, but I got a kick out of reading Iran’s threat to reverse-engineer the American drone it apparently captured. It’s really easy to take something apart – that doesn’t mean you can put it back together.

My husband is a whiz at all things related to …well, all things. He can rebuild cars, fix refrigerators, jewelry, furniture, computers. You name it, he can fix it. By contrast, well, I’m a good writer. I say that to explain that I am not good at fixing things. Even if I could take something apart – there is no evidence to suggest that I’ll manage to put it back together.

I’m the type of person who could dismantle a chair and end up with a table…or dismantle a toaster and end up with…well, a pile of parts.

I do not believe that one nation consists of people who are inherently smarter than another nation; I do not believe that one people is better than another. I do not believe all good people belong to any one religion or that all bad people, for that matter, belong to one either.

I don’t believe all Arabs are bad; I don’t believe all Palestinians are bad; I don’t believe all Iranians are bad, and I don’t believe all Jews or Israelis are good.

Having said all that, I do believe that certain nations and populations have invested in education more than others and the results show. There is a reason why Israel is a center for innovation and development, why most of the world’s largest corporations have research and development centers here in Israel and why we recently received our 10th Nobel prize. And the same is true of the United States.

Getting back to the drone, I do not believe the Iranians are capable of creating the technology behind the stealth drone that went down recently. Perhaps capable is the wrong word. They may be capable of it from an intellectual point of view – but they don’t have the knowledge, the technology. I don’t believe that is a racist attitude – but rather a societal judgement. If your society focuses on development, technology, education – the results will show.

In any event, I keep seeing the picture in my mind of a bunch of men hovering around the drone in some bunker in Iran. They circle it, take pictures with it and when it all settles down, they stare at it long and hard, wondering how to approach it. Finally, having no choice, they begin to take the thing apart.

Reverse-engineer it? I really doubt they’ll accomplish more than creating a vast pile of pieces. It certainly is what would happen if I tried to dismantle it. And as I think of this picture in my mind, I hear the voices…

  • “Mahmoud, WHERE did this screw come from again?”
  • “Bassem, are you sure this thing came from the drone? I think it fell out of my chair.’
  • “Aiwa…how come there’s no seat in this thing? No wonder it crashed!”
  • “Mahmoud, what do you think this wire did?” And Mahmoud answers, “I don’t know, where did you take it from?” and Bassem looks at Mahmoud, looks at the drone, looks at the wire in his hand…”never mind.”
  • “Hey, this computer doesn’t have Minesweeper on it!”
  • “They didn’t leave any piece of paper with the password to this thing.” – “Try admin? 1234?” says Abdul
  • “Maybe they use these things for windshield wipers?” Bassem asks and Mahmoud answers, “Bassem, stop taking things apart until we figure out where the…I think it just barked.”
  • “Does this say, ‘Made in China’? They made the drone in China?”
  • “Oops…these little plastic parts are so fragile!” … “BASSEM!!!!!”

    9 Comments on Reverse-Engineering the Drone? I don’t think so…

    1. Actually it was probably made in France. They should just get the instruction manual from them.

      “Bassem, what does this card say?” “My French is not good, Abdul, but I think it says: Mon Cher Ami Mahmoud, voici un petit presents for you. Monsieur Sarkozy seends heez reegards.”

    2. Oh… funny… you have a future in comedy if you ever want to take it! You made me laugh!

    3. Oh… funny… you have a future in comedy if you ever want to take it! You made me laugh so hard!

    4. Reverse engineering takes month/years not days/weeks. And that is if you spend every moment on the problem.

      I heard an engineer talk yesterday saying he doesn’t believe that the Iranians have anything more than a Styrofoam mock-up. That the real drone is either in China or Russia.

      I think he may be right.

    5. Abdul: “Bassem, Bassem, first you broke the drone and now you have set M. Sarkozy’s instruction manual on fire with your cigarette!”

      Bassem: “Oy veh.”

    6. Abdul: “Bassem, what do we do now? The drone is broken and the instruction manual has gone up in flames. The Revolutionary Guard will torture us and hang us from a Japanese crane.”

      Bassem: “We will have to blow up the whole facility to cover our tracks, Abdul. All of you stay there. I’ll set the charges and tell you when it is safe to escape.”

      Abdul: “Is it safe yet, Bassem? Bassem?”

      Bassem: “Achat, shtayeem, shalosh.”

      Abdul: “Basse—“

    7. The Russians will gladly do it for them.

    8. You just provided me with a needed laugh. Thanks 🙂

    9. they are much better rug merchants than you are, ma’am. They will get the russians and the chinese into a bidding war for it.

      With all due respect, the russian radar that the sayeret matkal kidnapped out of sinai a generation or two ago, was not reverse-engineered by Tadiran or anyone else who thinks that a kid in gan ought to be fed chocolate-spread sandwiches. That radar was delivered to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in columbus OH.

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