Updated: Iranian newspaper ads makes fun of Lockheed Martin after U.S. stealth drone capture but video showing alleged Sentinel is a doctored LM Polecat promo

The mysterious episode that led to the capture of the U.S. stealthy drone has been on the pages of the newspapers all around the world. On Dec. 10, the Iranian daily Hamshahri published an advertisement, put by an unidentified person, making fun of Lockheed Martin the U.S. company which has developed the “Beast of Kandahar”.

According to the Tehran Times, the advertisment reads: “The latest product of Skunk Works ready to be launched.”
Skunk Works is an official alias for Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs, which is responsible for a number of famous aircraft designs. Among them the U-2, the F-117, the F-22 and the F-35, respectively, the spyplane of the Gary Powers downing, the stealth plane downed by the Serbians during Allied Force in 1999; the fighter plane with stealthy features grounded for several months by oxygen systems problems in 2011; and the world’s most advanced and costly stealth multirole aircraft.

If the authenticity of the alleged captured drone (on display in what looks like a gym of a school) is still under debate, I think that, in spite of the title, everyone will easily agree that the one in the video below is not an RQ-170.

Original version available here: http://irnafilm.ir/NSite/FullStory/News/?Id=2204

What drone is that? Simple, the Iranians doctored a Lockheed Martin Polecat promo video. Same footage!

In the meanwhile, more information about the captured RQ-170 have surfaced. For instance, in the first article I published after seeing the first pictures of the drone in Iran I said that the desert/beige color scheme of the robot, previously seen in what seemed to be a grey camouflage, was unusual therefore interesting. However, Schuyler Denhaman, pointed me to an interesting image already published on Militaryphotos.net showing a nose close up picture (taken in 2010) of a Sentinel whose color is much similar to the one of the drone showcased by the Iran Republican Guard.

This, along with all the previous articles on the Sentinel drone in Iran, can be found at the following link: https://theaviationist.com/category/captured-stealth-drone/

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


    • Shouldn’t it be possible to see the F117 style inlet in that picture? Also the sidepods in the Iranian drone just don’t appear the same to me than the ones in that picture.

  1. I don’t blame the Iranian media foor using that footage , many western mainstream media outles (foxnews,cnn,msnbc etc) have also aired footage of the wrong kind drone , while describing it as an rq-170 .

    The only ”reliable source” in this matter is the website of the IRGC :


    • a fine collection of info. I think.

      The “falling leaf” theory seems to me like the best alternative to the Iranian claim of having been able to bring the drone down by overriding the control. And it got me to think of this picture:


      could it be from the stress of the left wing catching the ground first (instead of hitting an object, as one would think immediately)?

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