Iranian Revolutionary Guards look at what Tehran claim is the US RQ-170 Sentinel drone on December 4, 2011
Iranian Revolutionary Guards look at what Tehran claim is the US RQ-170 Sentinel high-altitude reconnaissance drone that crashed in Iran on December 4, 2011. Iranian state television has aired video footage that it says was extracted from a CIA drone it captured inside the Islamic republic's airspace in December 2011. © - - Iran's Revolutionary Guards/AFP/File
Iranian Revolutionary Guards look at what Tehran claim is the US RQ-170 Sentinel drone on December 4, 2011
AFP
Last updated: February 7, 2013

Iranian TV airs video of captured US drone

Iranian state television has aired video footage that it says was extracted from a CIA drone it captured inside the Islamic republic's airspace in December 2011.

In a documentary broadcast Wednesday, the elite Revolutionary Guards released the video, the first time it has been seen since the RQ-170 Sentinel was captured after it entered Iranian airspace from its eastern border with Afghanistan.

The Guards aerospace division, which said it seized the unmanned aircraft, said the footage showed images of the drone landing at an airbase in Kandahar in Afghanistan, as well as at a base in Pakistan.

Iran has previously claimed that it brought down the drone electronically by "spoofing" its GPS guidance system. US officials have said that the Sentinel suffered a malfunction.

"By decoding data extracted from the drone, we found out that the aircraft had conducted many flights in Iran’s neighbouring countries," Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Guards' aerospace division, said in the broadcast.

The American military and the Central Intelligence Agency regularly use drones to launch missile strikes in Afghanistan and in Pakistan's lawless tribal belt, but do not generally confirm such raids.

Shortly after Iran announced the drone's capture, the NATO-led military force in Afghanistan said the aircraft had been on a mission over western Afghanistan.

US media had reported fears in the United States that Iran could access and make use of the highly advanced technology used in the drone.

But a US official later cast doubts that "the Iranians have the expertise" to exploit the technology found in the aircraft.

The RQ-170 Sentinel is a high-altitude stealth reconnaissance drone made by Lockheed Martin. Its existence was exposed in 2009 by specialised reviews and later confirmed by the US Air Force in 2010.

Iran said in January that it was in possession of two more US-made RQ-11 reconnaissance drones it shot down over the previous 15 months, in addition to a ScanEagle drone and the RQ-170.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Stay Connected
twitter icon Twitter 13,558 linkedin icon LinkedIn 463
facebook icon Facebook 87,173 google+ icon Google+ 272