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.


  1. If they have actually did it, why not publish a CLEAR video of the UAV in flight, and landing???

  2. Hummm …. what is it with the Iranians and bad movie sets and special effects. I was buying it right up to 2 min and 22 sec. Guys, the scaling is all off. That’s an RC model. Looking back I can convince myself that the aircraft is very very close to the hilo taking the video footage. There is one video shot at 0:58 that’s the most convincing, but the rest has the wrong scaling, and the feel of the kind of special effects one would get from “Hot Shots”, or “Iron Eagle”. Not to mention the whip antenna obvious in some shots.

  3. IRGC commander said:

    General 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

    We have plans to bring into operation, at least, four indigenized RQ-170 drones for missions by the end of this (Iranian) year (March 20),” Commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force Brigadier General Hajizadeh said on Wednesday

    it will enter service in different shapes and performance and only composite material is used and its low cost.

    four units will be delivered by the end of the Persian year and mass-production will start, next year.

  4. When the rq-170bis is showed in front of the shopper. He seemed quite large. But I think iranians are enjoying missing with all aviation nerdies in the world..

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