Iran releases first (somehow suspicious) video of its RQ-170 stealth drone copy in flight

Eventually, a video allegedly showing the copy of Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) drone manufactured by reverse-engineering of U.S. Sentinel drone captured in December 2011 was released.

On Nov. 10, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, announced that a domestic version of the RQ-170 drone, modified to carry out both bombing and reconnaissance missions, had made its maiden flight.

“The footage of its flight will be released soon,” he told reporters.

Eventually, a video showing the copy of the Sentinel flying somewhere over Iran, filmed both from the ground and from an accompanying helicopter has been released.

The footage of the flying drone looks genuine; what seems to be a bit weird is the sequence of the RQ-170 landing on the runway: more than a UAV, the aircraft moves and reacts to the remote pilot’s input as a small remotely piloted scale model….

Since the first prototype was a smaller copy of the Sentinel (60% the size of the original RQ-170) which flew about four months ago, one might wonder whether the landing drone depicted in the footage is not the full scale replica but the smaller original prototype.

Furthermore, some frames of the landing video seem to be computer generated.

Judge by yourself at min 06:49.

H/T to Soufiane Nourredine for the heads-up


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.


      • Their entire accomplishment is based on an error on the part of some operator sitting back in Dallas. If their great pride is in snatching up the leavings of greater nations, are we supposed to be impressed by this?

        Yep, it’s embarrassing when they trumpet their “achievement” that amounts to little more than playing with the United State’s garbage.

        • That’s the whole point: being smart enough to exploit the errors of your enemies. Oh by the way, its the first time I’ve seen a countries president begging another nation to give back their garbage.

            • ya I remember papa Obama was begging us for it. you know what we did? we just yawned.
              But don’t worry Iran said if America wants the drone back we can give her one of our new RQ-170 drones.
              I think she needs it cause in this recession it will be hard to build a new drone we can offer her our new drone.
              you know its good to help the poor.

        • Which plane will fall in a desert in one piece?? How can you believe this and say your not a fool!! I don’t like to insult you but you have to believe the facts. It will make no difference for me cause when the time comes everybody will know the truth.

          • The truth? Ha, ha and another ha! Iran or an Iranian telling the truth is like a cat eating toast and jam! You will see the truth soon when Iranians overthrow the government in Iran! It is coming and sooner that you imagine!

            • We love our government. And it’s impassible for what your saying to happen. You can only dream it. But what is happening right now in America it’s more like an overthrow to what is happening in Iran. You don’t live in here so don’t try to do fortune telling. And you don’t have to believe every thing you hear from BBC.
              And can u say when is this soon that your talking about coming Mr fortune teller!!!!!!.
              And which government do u know that lies more then America?? did anyone find nuclear weapon in Iraq? or just America attacked it to for the precious oil?? or if America really feels sorry for Israel why doesn’t she evacuate America and give it back to its real owner(I mean the Indians)??

    • Maybe you should practice some patriotism for your birthplace (Iran), as you do being simultanously a Canadian.

  1. It’s quite speedy and its fling at low attitude. The RQ-170 is supposed to be a high altitude recon UAV. But I think its an achievement to succed to fly a wing tailess drone. We’ll see more variants soon. And maybe a F-313 heavily modified (I missed that bird very much. I’m a believer :-) )

  2. Only an Idiot would not see this is a Model and not a full size drone. I hope these are the same people working on their Nuke because odds are they will blow themselves up and save us the effort.

    • Hajizadeh had informed in September that “the prototype model of this drone (which was 60% smaller than the original drone in size) flew about three months ago

    • The same people who brought down the original drone in one piece 3 years ago (child’s play? I think not) are working on the reverse engineered model. Odds are someone’s bottomside is hurting like hell right now.

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