Iran unveils killer drone that may really work

Sep 27 2013 - 23 Comments

After displaying a stealth fighter that was a sort of joke, obsolete missiles as they were new, fake or unrealistic UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), Tehran may  have finally unveiled something real.

In a ceremony held on Sept. 27, Iran unveiled a modified version of  the “Shahed 129″, capable to carry weapons. In other words the domestic drone (based on the Israeli Hermes 450 model or the Watchkeeper 450 model, but larger than those types), has eventually become a real UCAV (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle) capable to carry missiles.

shahed side

According to the claims of the IRGC AF Commander, the drone can carry 8 bombs/missiles, it has an endurance of 24 hours with a range of 1,700 km and a ceiling of 24,000 feet, and it can monitor an area of 200 km around it with its onboard sensors.

Iranian TV has aired footage of the drone flying and firing missiles as well as images allegedly recorded from the IR sensors of the Shaded 129.

Shahed-129 front

Furthermore, the two models showcased so far seem to be of different versions: one features a retractable landing gear while the other has a fixed one.

Shahed-129 runway

Even if accuracy of the sensors and weapons can’t be judged from photos, what can be said is that, unlike many other project, the Shahed 129 seems at first glance to be a “tangible” platform. In other words drones seen in the first images don’t seem to be toys (still they might be so).

Image credit: IRINN, FARS

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  • mohsen

  • Farzam Mir

    ”In other words drones seen in the first images don’t seem to be toys (still they might be so)”
    You are very cynical and also AIM-54 is a very potent missile.

    • Lucifer

      This is a US propaganda media, not a fair professional military news. So you can’t expect they express your achievements in the way they show their own achievements. You guys are their enemy so they have to degrade your capabilities. Btw I think it is the same in your country. They have unfair propaganda media similar to The Aviationist ;-)

      • Greg

        The Aviationist is italian

        • Peaceforall1998

          He might be of Italian origin, but this is an American blog.

      • OG_Locc

        This is not propaganda. It’s legitimate observations made by people who actually know what they’re talking about.

        All this Iranian junk is hyped up for internal consumption by people who have no idea what they’re looking at. Iran claimed they built their own S-300 system – and trotted out a truck with a bunch of oil drums welded together. LMAO

        • Henry

          unveiling of S-300 was not even covered by Iranian media you professor .
          at that time and even now , they have not claimed to build such system but saying that researched are underway to build such system . the fact is that Iran has got 4 S-300 systems from some unknown sources which has been also confirmed by western intelligent reports and those so called oil drums were real systems which Iran was able to get from Belarus and another source . purchasing of this systems have prevented Israeli strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities and the only thing that Israel is able to do now is barking . the reason that no one have confirmed sales of this systems to Iran is the embargo which has been imposed on Iran and can punish any supplier who sales arms to Iran.

          • Onlooker

            To quote you, “the only thing that Israel is able to do now is barking”. Please keep thinking that. Oh, you may also want to practise leaning over to kiss your rear end goodbye.

  • Is this announcement substantially different from last year? (see “Iran unveiled Shahed-129 UAV with 24 hours endurance and 1700 km operational radius” also from Iran Military Videos youtube channel)

    • cencio4

      Hi Anita,

      last year they didn’t show the drone carrying arms and flying. That’s why it is different.

  • epsil2

    Another video

  • Gyoz

    With all the respect to Iran’s great engenering capability (If you consider their isolation) there is no way this drone will be effective in a highly contested airspace as the Persian Gulf or Israel and most of the Middle East. Anything beside something highly stealth would be shot down in a moment.

    • Farzam Mir

      it will not be used in persian gulf its duty is monitoring and defending of iran’s border against insurgents and smugglers

  • mike

    A drone is nothing special. I am 19 years old, and I have drones that are capable of carrying 2 to 5 lbs of payload and fly more than 1 hour and 30 miles away. And these only cost me $1,000 and are simply just small, foam, radio controlled airplanes with cameras. Given the money, i could easily build one that could fly and carry 5 times more.

    • Aaron Tyler

      Is the communication from the control station to the UAV secure?

      On a second note Drones or UAV’s always make me think of an unmanned craft with a level of autonomy.

  • Peaceforall1998

    Good work Iran.

  • OG_Locc

    “Raad 85 suicide drone”?

    Suicide drone? LOL. They’ve had those since the Iran-Iraq war, when the brainwashed Basij marched in human waves to clear minefields.

    • Henry

      For sure they had those drones from the end of Iran-Iraq war and this new drones are modified ones . one big thing that you are always missing and your empty head can’t understand is the fact that those so called human waves were real hero’s of Iran who had dignity and were ready to give their life for their country and didn’t allow the western backed Saddam regime to occupy even 1 meter of their country .

    • Henry

      another point that you are not understanding is that first US defeat by Iran was in Iran-Iraq war which USA and other western countries did all to change the regime in Iran but failed so far . Iran’s victory over US continued after Afghanistan and Iraq war in which fooled coalition army removed Iran’s enemies in this two countries and after that Iran’s Quds force made the coalition forces to stuck in those countries and see their soldiers dead bodies returning home day by day . this victories continued in 2006 when Hezbollah defeated Israel . and the last battle in Syria is going in favor of Iran up to this moment.

    • heliacal

      you have no idea about it
      they died for their belief
      for their beloved Iran

      we have a word غیرت
      that you do not know its meaning
      and youll never feel it

  • EdwardInFlorida

    The Aviationist sounds somewhat biased like FOX News. Iran had UCAVS that WORKED as far back as the Iran/Iraq war in the 80s called the “Mohajer”. It carried 6 RPGs under the wings. I bet a number of Iraqi veterans can tell the stories of seeing their comrades blown to pieces from those attacks. I would take The Aviationist with a grain of salt if I were you all.

  • P.Act

    but it certainly doesn’t work

  • Myron Zorger

    Probably made in china!