On the night of June 19-20, Iranian air defense system shot down a US Global Hawk reconnaissance UAV over the Strait of Hormuz. This event could have triggered an armed conflict between Iran and the United States.
Iran shot down the modified version of the Global Hawk UAV intended for marine patrols - the MQ 4C-Triton. This UAV was passed into service at the US Navy in 2015.
It just so happens that the 15-ton giant drone worth $220 million with a wingspan of 40 meters failed to escape from an Iranian missile. Iran has ceased to reckon with the United States. Amir-Ali Hajizade, the head of the Revolutionary Guard's aerospace division, said that there was a P-8 Poseidon military aircraft flying next to the US UAV. The P-8 Poseidon was carrying 35 people on board. The military aircraft, the official said, invaded Iranian air space too, but Iran chose not to shoot the airplane down. Instead, Iran shot down the drone.
Interestingly, Iran shot down the US drone from the Raad anti-aircraft missile system, which bears a striking resemblance to the outdated Soviet Kub (Cube) system. The Raad has a modified homing head, and Iran may have received the homing head technology from Russia. This may explain why the US drone outfitted with state-of-the-art electronic protection failed to escape the attack of the Iranian missile.
In 2016, Iran bought four divisions of S-300 Favorit anti-aircraft missile systems from Russia. Each division includes 12 launchers. The Favorit ("Favorite") range reaches 200 km; the system can easily eliminate all aircraft, including medium-range missiles.
It is worthy of note that Russia readies to launch a new generation of air defense systems known as S-500 Prometei (Prometheus), while the United States has not been able to design anything that could be superior to Russia's S-300 missile complex. The THAAD system has a different purpose - to strike trans-atmospheric ballistic missiles. The Patriot system clearly lags behind the S-300.
Iran can launch a total of about 400 S-300 missiles to distances up to 200 kilometres and 1,500 missiles - up to 40 kilometers. The country is capable of fighting. In order not to irritate Iran, the Americans moved their Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier from Iran's coast for at least 300 km three days after the incident. The Wasp landing ship retreated back to the Suez Canal.
China takes the lead in imposing travel restrictions, locking down the city of Wuhan while the rest of the world acts as a voyeur. Could this be catastrophic?