An (allegedly) American drone just crashed in Pakistan. That’s not altogether surprising — we fly drones over them all the time to hunt militants. But this one’s different. It’s tiny. And, uh, it’s shaped like a bird. What is it?
Danger Room’s Spencer Ackerman points out the ornithological similarities between the mystery UAV and the SmallBird drone — but they’re clearly different. The Pakistani specimen holds no weapons — only what appear to be cameras, or what DefenseTech speculates are “four sensor apertures”. There’s also some strange photographic-looking equipment lying nearby. DT asked their drone gurus, and the only thing resembling conjecture they could turn up is the possibility that “It may be a Lockheed Martin Desert Hawk with the tail plane modified to look more like a bird for camouflage.” That’s very clever!
But not clever enough to keep it from falling out of the sky, it’d seem. It appears to have crashed on its own, rather than being shot out of the sky — the wreckage looks almost entirely intact, save for some scorch marks. At any rate, we can be sure of one thing: Pakistan’s got it, and they’re probably giving it a very thorough inspection right now. We need to be more careful about not dropping our stealth crap in their backyard. [Danger Room and DefenseTech]