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Iran unveils copy of U.S. drone

12 May 2014 12:10 (UTC+04:00)
Iran unveils copy of U.S. drone

By Sara Rajabova

Iran has displaced a copied U.S. RQ-170 stealth drone it captured back in 2011.

The domestically produced version of the sophisticated U.S. drone was unveiled in an exhibition at the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Forces' Central Command, attended by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Press TV reported.

The U.S. RQ-170 Sentinel was reverse-engineered by IRGC experts in about two years.

The RQ-170 is an unmanned stealth aircraft designed and developed by the Lockheed Martin Company.

The aircraft was downed with minimal damage by the Iranian Army's electronic warfare unit on December 4, 2011, while flying over the Iranian city of Kashmar, some 225 kilometers (140 miles) from the Afghan border.

Other Iranian drones, including Shahed 129 and 125, were also on display at the exhibition.

The expo put on display the achievements of the IRGC Aerospace Forces in the design and development of drones, radars and defense systems as well as anti-ship, ballistic and anti-shield missile systems.

Iranian media outlets report that Iran has made great achievements in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing essential military equipment and systems in recent years.

Since 1992, Iran has manufactured its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles, radars, boats, submarines and fighter planes. Iran also unveiled its first domestically-manufactured long-range Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in 2010.

Iran media also reported that Iran will test 4-kilometers range missiles on its Army helicopters.

Commander of the Army's Ground Force Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan said the Army's helicopters have been equipped with guided missiles, which are scheduled to be tested in Beit ol-Moqaddas war games in the next Iranian month of Khordad (May 22-June 21) in Isfahan province of Iran, Iran's Tasnim news agency reported.

He added that the national helicopter, which is to be equipped with the most advanced military systems, will be unveiled by the end of the current Iranian solar year (March 2015).

Iran has always stated that its military might poses no threat to other countries, stating that its defense doctrine is based on deterrence.

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