|Iran has reverse-engineered U.S. spy drone||
TEHRAN – Iran has successfully reverse-engineered an advanced U.S. spy drone that violated the country’s airspace in 2011, the commander of the Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, announced on Saturday.
Iran announced on December 4, 2011 that an advanced RQ-170 unmanned U.S. spy plane had been brought down by the armed forces of the Islamic Republic but did not say when the incident occurred.
The wingspan of the radar-evading drone is 26 meters, the length of the fuselage is 4.5 meters, and the plane has a height of 1.84 meters.
According to the Washington Post, the RQ-170 Sentinel has been used by the CIA for highly sensitive missions into other nations’ airspace, including months of surveillance of the compound in Pakistan in which Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was allegedly hiding before he was killed in an attack by Special Operations forces on May 1, 2011.
Hajizadeh, who made the remarks during a televised interview broadcast live on Iranian television, also said that Iran had built a copy of the plane and had acquired information about the classified surveillance drone program.
He stated, “The reason why we cannot talk about the aircraft is that the plane is regarded as a national asset and… discussing (it) would be a disclosure of information, and we should not dispense it freely. However, I will reveal four codes so that the Americans will know how much information we have gleaned from the aircraft.
“The drone was in California on October (17), 2010, which corresponds to Mehr 25, 1389, for some technical work and was taken to Kandahar on November (19), 2010, which corresponds to Aban 28, 1389. It conducted flights there, but, apparently, it experienced a number of problems, which they (the Americans) could not fix.
“The unmanned aerial vehicle again conducted a number of flights in December 2010 in Los Angeles and was taken to an airport near Los Angeles to be repaired and its subsystems, namely its censors and equipment, were tested.
“The aircraft also conducted flights in Pakistan over the area where Bin Laden was killed two weeks before his death.
“If we had not acquired access to the software and hardware of the plane, we could not have figured out these issues.”
Hajizadeh added, “More than 50 years of the Americans’ technology of manned and unmanned aircraft has been used in this spy drone. All the technologies that the Americans have used in the F-35 aircraft, stealth bombers, the Polecat, etc. have been used in this plane.”
Commenting on news reports claiming that the drone had been equipped with a self-destruct mechanism, he said, “Missiles, but not all aircraft, have self-destruct systems… They (the Americans) had placed such trust in the plane that they did not” equip it with such a system.
Subscribe to our RSS feed to stay in touch and receive all of TT updates right in your feed reader
|Last Updated on 22 April 2012 17:01|