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.


    • Most of you commenting with your disinformation are hezraeli paid
      shills,now with that being said, lets look at some recent facts. There
      is no doubt that Iranian propaganda machine and their introduction of
      new tech are rather amateurish.It does not really matter at this point
      whether it is a 60% prototype or not . The fact is , unless you are
      blind, it is a flying wing.
      even if small … the aerodynamics seems to be working splendidly … at
      one point in the video, it was pulling at least 5-6 G’S in a very swift
      fashion … vehicle rolled on its longitudinal axis on left and then
      pitched up almost instantaneously and there seemed to be no resultant
      drop or leg between these two motions … aerodynamics are perfect and
      are for sure being run with a proper control logic (basic fbw) … which
      is impressive indeed as Iran has never flown a wing before … I may be
      thinking of future but this can result in a high tech aerial combat
      platform in distant future …

      overall not a bad project but the way it was presented made it almost
      certain that who ever is running these shows hasnt learned anything from
      Saeghe and specially Hamaseh and Qaher jokes … i want to know who is
      behind these 1:X scaled models and animated videos being presented as
      real warfare machines … when you do these things to make your
      superiors happy instead of even thinking about what kind of impact it
      will have on the overall scientific credibility of a nation then you are
      one selfish idiot instead of a professional …

      Good project … Credible machine … bad presentation an unveiling

      • I can buy these capabilities at Wal-Mart. Not impressive one bit. Not even for a toy. They could have saved all of the embarrassment and purchased Chinese UAV’s.

        Hesa should really get in contact with the manufacturers of AirHogs. That would boost their capabilities vastly. Best wishes Iran..

        Poor project… Poor video… Poor Iranians.

  1. Well obviously its only flying at low level as the Futaba RC transmitter wont reach so far. Need line of sight. This video has lightened my day.

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