Sunday, December 11, 2011

'Iran among few states with drone tech'

A senior Iranian commander says the Islamic Republic is among the few countries that possess the technological know-how of the unmanned aerial vehicles fitted with scanning and reconnaissance systems. 

Deputy Commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC), Brigadier General Hossein Salami said on Saturday that the US spy drone, recently downed by the Iranian military forces while violating Iran's airspace, showed the US modern intelligence technology and the fact that the Islamic Republic could decode the drone's data and figure out the technology applied to it, IRNA reported.

Salami went on to say that the enemies of the Islamic Republic did not have a true understanding of Iran's capabilities.

The US RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft was brought down with minimal damage by the Iranian Army's electronic warfare unit on Sunday, December 4, 2011, when flying over the northeastern Iran city of Kashmar, some 225 kilometers (140 miles) away from the Afghan border.

On December 6, two US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the drone had been part of a CIA reconnaissance mission, involving the United State intelligence community stationed in Afghanistan.

Iran has announced that it intends to carry out reverse engineering on the aircraft, which is similar in design to a US Air Force B-2 stealth bomber.

The RQ-170 is an unmanned stealth aircraft designed and developed by the Lockheed Martin Company.

The drone is one of the US most advanced surveillance aircraft, whose loss is considered a major embarrassment for Washington.