Iran will soon display upgraded copy of the captured U.S. stealth RQ-170 drone

In February 2013, a video, aired by an Iranian TV proved that Iran had accessed some of the data stored inside the U.S. stealthy RQ-170 drone captured in December 2011.

The footage was the first evidence that Iran has found something interesting in the UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) and its internal hard disks.

On Sept. 22, FARS News Agency reported the news that an indigenous Iranian drone, manufactured through reverse engineering of the captured “Beast of Kandahar” will be publicly displayed soon.

“All the memories and computer systems of this plane have been decoded and some good news will be announced in the near future not just about the RQ-170 and the optimizations that our forces have done on the reversed engineered model of this drone, but also in area of other important defense achievements,” IRGC Lieutenant Commander General Hossein Salami said to the FNA.

According to the Iranian officials, the Sentinel-replica will soon perform its maiden flight and will later be added to the Iranian Air Force order of battle.

Iran has hunted/recovered two more UAV types since then: two RQ-11s and at least one ScanEagle that had penetrated the Iranian airspace from the Persian Gulf.

By the way, the RQ-170 has been already copied, as images coming from China show.

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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.