Iran says it got two more U.S. drones in past missions
The naval chief of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard claims Iranian forces had captured at least two other U.S. drones before unveiling a purportedly downed ScanEagle craft earlier this month.
The Dec. 17 report by the official IRNA news agency does not say when the two other drones were allegedly taken.
It quotes Adm. Ali Fadavi as saying the drone shown on state TV was the third captured ScanEagle, a relatively simple surveillance craft made by a Boeing subsidiary.
Fadavi says Iranian-made copies of the ScanEagle have been put into service, but did not elaborate.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Navy said none of its drones were missing from recent missions, but some might have fallen into the sea in the past. There was no immediate comment from the U.S. 5th Fleet in Bahrain. AP
Ohio museum plane held fuel for four decades
Officials at the U.S. Air Force museum in Ohio are checking the gas tanks of all their vintage planes after someone discovered one of them apparently has held 200 gallons of fuel for more than four decades.
Procedures at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton require all aircraft to be defueled before they are exhibited. Apparently, that never happened when the A-1E Skyraider arrived some 44 years ago.
The Dayton Daily News reports that restoration crews reviewing old records discovered there was still fuel in the Skyraider, a propeller-powered attack plane used in both the Korean War and the Vietnam War. A crew purged the fuel over the weekend, forcing the temporary closure of some of the museum galleries. AP
Russia sends navy squadron to Mediterranean
A Russian navy squadron has set off for the Mediterranean amid official talk about a possible evacuation of Russians from Syria.
The Defense Ministry said Dec. 18 that the ships will rotate with those that have been in the area since November. Russian diplomats said last week that Moscow is preparing plans to evacuate thousands of Russians from Syria if necessary. The ministry did not say whether the navy ships are intended for an evacuation.
The Interfax news agency, citing unidentified naval sources, reported that the navy command wants the ships to be on hand for the task if needed. It said the mission’s duration will depend on the situation in Syria.
Russia’s base in the Syrian port of Tartus is its only naval outpost outside the former Soviet Union. AP
Boeing results share buybacks, boosts dividend
Boeing says it will buy back $1.5 billion to $2 billion of its shares next year, and it is boosting its dividend.
Boeing says the buybacks and higher dividend are possible because it is generating cash and has a positive growth outlook. Boeing shareholders have been waiting to benefit from its new 787 plane.
The share repurchases will use up the rest of the money authorized for that purpose by Boeing’s board in 2007.
Boeing also raised its dividend 10 percent, to 48.5 cents per share. It will be paid on March 8 to shareholders of record on Feb. 15. AP