Iranian UAV spotted over Syria could be a heavily modified drone (with Predator inputs)

A better look at the images of the Iranian drone emerged so far highlighted something interesting.

New screenshots coming from Syria give a better view of the Shahed 129 spotted over Damascus on Apr. 10.

Noteworthy, such photos show that the version used by the Syrian Armed Forces of the made-in-Iran UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle), is sensibly different by the one unveiled in September 2013 in Tehran.

Indeed, the remotely piloted aircraft features a nose section whose shape resembles that of a U.S. Predator/Reaper and a tall antenna mounted on top of it.

Judge by comparing the image on top with the following one:

US MQ-9

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

This seemingly extensive modifications make the drone’s front part more similar to an MQ-9/1 than a Israeli Hermes 450 model.

Iran is not unfamiliar with domestic modifications to western drones: they have been able to recover/capture some U.S. remotely piloted aircraft, including a Scan Eagle (and the famous stealthy RQ-170).

The question is: did they put their hands on some parts of an MQ-9 as well?

 H/T to Kasra Ghanbari for the heads-up

 

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About David Cenciotti 3645 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance 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 four books.