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:


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
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. But I think they just copy the body shape and appearance of a well known drone to deceive the other people who don’t know the fact. Maybe there is nothing inside this modified nose but everybody who looks at this toy which is used specifically to kill innocent civilians will find it a new advanced drone with high tech instruments to find maybe atomic or chemical weapons! while it’s not different with the previous version and it’s duty is just to find civilians to bomb them.

    • are those innocent civilians???
      you don’t know any thing about what’s happing in syria ,
      i’m from syria.

      • And I can leave hundreds of thousands of photos which show something different than what you want to say. You can be Syrian but certainly are a supporter of Asad’s Regime. People shown in this picture just can be called terrorist if and only if they do jobs same as Bashar Asad’s Army’s.

  2. DAVID … check out the video another time … The light effect caused the nose shape …

    The nose shape is normal …

    I think they replaced the Original FLIR with a simple & tiny One …

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