Iran shows U.S. stealth drone captured last year

Dating back to Oct. 10, 2012, the following report (brought to my attention by Giuliano Ranieri – thanks!), aired by Al-Manar TV (Lebanon) and made available on Youtube by the MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute) TV, shows what seems to be the U.S. RQ-170 Sentinel drone captured by Iran in December 2011.

Provided it is not the model on display at Tehran in Feb.11 rallies.

The stealthy drone, was put on display along with missiles with the aim to acquaint the public with the capabilities of the IRGC.

The report says Iran has developed its new drones (including the new Israeli Hermes 450/Watchkeeper clone capable of carrying missiles and the VTOL tilt-wing UAV) based on technologies possibly adopted from the RQ-170.

However, in spite of all claims, Tehran has not provided substantiated any evidence to prove it has really decoded the radar-evading tech in the captured Sentinel.

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.


  1. Did you notice the landing gear oddities? There is no door on the nose gear, and no wheel wells for the main landing gear, or gear doors. And apparently nowhere for the nose to retract into.

  2. Also did anyone else notice that the camera mounted on the belly of their fancy drone is fixed versus a 360° pan tilt zoom that is on most American drones… What a joke, it can only look forward apparently, I’m guessing this is just a Styrofoam mockup and really doesn’t have any fancy capabilities.

    The real prize of our drones is the Advanced Technology and electronics inside of them- those are not easy to reverse engineer especially in a short amount of time as the Iranians claim they have done. Total BS in my opinion

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