Iran’s New Drone Similar To Captured US RQ-170 UAV

  • Our Bureau
  • 02:38 PM, October 3, 2016
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Iran’s New Drone Similar To Captured US RQ-170 UAV
Iranian Saeqeh drone (Image: Voanews.com)

Iran’s newly built long-range attack drone, ‘Saeqeh’ is similar to a US drone captured five years ago after it entered Iranian airspace, according to local media.

The report described the new drone as a home-grown aircraft "made by reverse engineering of [an] American Lockheed Martin RQ-170" vehicle that was downed in December 2011. It described the new drone as part of a broad range of unmanned vehicles with civilian and military applications, Voice of America reported quoting Tasnim news agency.

There has been no official US comment on the Tasnim report.

In 2012, Iranian media quoted a top general as saying data recovered from the seized US drone showed it was used to conduct surveillance on the Pakistan hideout of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden shortly before he was killed by US forces in 2011.

The Washington Post also reported that year that a CIA stealth surveillance drone had earlier flown deep over Iranian territory, capturing images of Iran's high-security Qom uranium enrichment facility before leaving the country's airspace.

During that period, Iran and Western powers were embroiled in a contentious dispute over the details of Iran's suspect nuclear program, which was widely thought to be working to develop nuclear weapons.

The dispute led to a series of crippling Western sanctions against Iran that remained in place until 2015, when Tehran reached a preliminary agreement with Western powers to redesign its nuclear facilities to curtail the production of nuclear fuels. 

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