TEHRAN, November 10. /TASS/. Iran carried out successful tests of a drone based on the US-made aircraft that was captured in 2011, the chief of the Revolutionary Guard's airspace division, Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, told the IRNA.
He said that the new drone is an Iranian version of the American RQ-170 Sentinel that was manufactured using Stealth-technology. According to the General, December 4, 2011 Iranian Air Defense forces managed to seize the aircraft and land it with minimum damage. The drone was carrying out intelligence collection flights 225 km from the border dividing Iran and Afghanistan.
RQ-179 Sentinel also known as “The Beast of Kandahar” was manufactured by the US company Lockheed Marteen and was one of the most guarded aerial vehicles in service of the American Air Force. The US had been using this aircraft in Afghanistan since 2007, however, refused to admit its existence till late 2009.
The exact technical characteristics of the UAV are still unknown. Only the information concerning special covering for the body of the aircraft that makes it impossible to detect by radars was confirmed. As estimated by Iran’s Ministry of Defense, the original US drone weighs from 3 to 3.6 tons.
There is information that the US was keeping track of Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda, in Pakistan, where he was killed by US SEALs unit May 1, 2011.