- State television claims Iran has already deployed the home-brew models
- Revolutionary Guards said they had brought down a ScanEagle last year
PUBLISHED: 21:56 EST, 11 February 2013 | UPDATED: 22:01 EST, 11 February 2013
Iran is rolling out a domestically-produced version of its own drone following the capture of a U.S.-made Scan Eagle last December, state television has claimed.
According to reports, the country’s military has successfully reverse engineered the avionics to replicate the U.S. drone and is producing them on a mass scale.
According to Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Navy, the Iran’s Naval and Aerospace Division has already deployed the home-brew models.
Claims: Iran’s military said it had downed a U.S. Scan Eagle drone, similar to the one pictured, which is a low-cost unmanned surveillance craft
His comments regarding the production start up reportedly came on December 17, less than two weeks after the drone was supposedly captured of the Iranian coast on December 4.
The Revolutionary Guards said they had brought down a ScanEagle – one of the low-cost, long-endurance aircraft with a 10ft wingspan which is operated by the U.S..
Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi told the Fars news agency in December that the drone had conducted several reconnaissance flights over the Gulf in recent days.
Rear Adm Fadavi said that ‘such drones are usually launched from large warships.
Shockwaves: Claims that the Iranian Arms had managed to create its own squadron of drones based on technology copied from a ‘downed’ U.S. spy plane is likely to cause acute embarrassment for the Americans
At the time, a spokesman for U.S. Naval Forces Central Command in Bahrain said the U.S. Navy had no record of any recently lost ScanEagles.
A month before this claimed downing of the drone, the U.S. said Iranian warplanes had shot at a its surveillance drone flying in international airspace. Iran said the aircraft had entered its airspace.
A year ago, Iranian TV broadcast pictures of an American RQ-170 Sentinel surveillance drone that Iran said had been brought down using electronic warfare. The US said it had malfunctioned.
Iran rejected a U.S. call for the return of the drone. It subsequently claimed to have developed its own unmanned drone.
Washington and Tehran are engaged in a dispute over Tehran’s nuclear programme.
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