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I generally liked the article but this drone part is totally off the hook.

Consider something like the drones shot down by Iran. The reason is that they are designed to be cheap, to be frequently lost while flying over the enemy. Thus, it's likely that one of these FPGAs was inside the drone shot down by Iran. While it's unlikely the FPGA had any secrets worthwhile, issues like this make it easier for Iran to reverse engineer the drone and manufacture their own.

What!?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Martin_RQ-170_Sentinel

The RQ-170 Sentinel was developed by Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works as a stealth Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)... Few details of the UAV's characteristics have been released, but estimates of its wingspan range from approximately 65 feet (20 m)[6] to 90 feet (27 m).

Even US public doesn't know pretty much anything about it, not even wingspan, as it probably stems straight from some Black Project out of Area 51.

So it is not only VERY expensive, it also includes some of the most TOP SECRET technologies developed by USAF, like stealth and what not. In military jargon it's called high-value asset!




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