“Iran has downed another foreign drone,” but it’s only a bad translation

It looks like a bad translation was the cause of the news that Iran had captured another foreing drone during “Great Prophet 8” drills conducted in southern Iran on Feb. 23.

According to some media outlets, Gen. Hamid Sarkheili, a spokesman for the exercise, had said that Islamic Revolution Guards Corps units had hijacked an unmanned aircraft that was trying to enter Iranian airspace.

However, what Sarkheili had described was one of the scenarios of the wargames, which included electronic warfare aimed at taking control of enemy drone’s navigation system and forcing it to land; a hijacking as the one allegedly achieved to capture a CIA-operated stealth RQ-170 Sentinel drone in December 2011.

Therefore, the UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) forced to land was, if any, an Iranian part playing the role of an enemy drone.

Here’s the original article, and below you can find the translation by Google Translator based on which the news of a new downing spread:

“The defense correspondent of Fars News Agency , Sardar Muhammad Azam 8th Army Corps drill Srkhyly spokesman recently told reporters at the end of the exercise in a foreign UAV announced.”

In December 2012, Tehran announced it had captured a ScanEagle UAV with minimal damage; whereas earlier this month it released footage allegedly stored inside the U.S. stealthy RQ-170 drone captured in December 2011.

RQ-170 Kandahar

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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.