Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 27 / Trend, N. Umid, S. Isayev
Iran has started large-scale manufacturing of its indigenous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Shahed 129, IRIB news agency reported.
Shahed 129 which was unveiled in September 2012 can carry out combat and reconnaissance missions with its 24-hour nonstop flight capability.
The UAV is developed by the Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
Shahed 129 is said to be able to carry Sadid-1 missiles, making it Iran's second weapons capable UAV after Karrar.
Iranian Fars news agency also quoted the IRGC Chief Major General Mohammad-Ali Ja'fari as saying that Iran has produced its own clone of RQ-170 UAV using reverse engineering technology, adding that, Iran will announce good news about the issue in the new future.
The RQ-170 Sentinel is an Unnamed Aerial Vehicle (UAV) whose existence was first revealed by the US Air Force in December 2009. It is about 26 meters in wingspan, 4.5 meters in length and 1.84 meters in height. RQ-170 is believed to be a stealth aircraft fitted with reconnaissance equipment.
In December 2011, an American RQ-170 UAV was captured by Iranian forces near the city of Kashmar in northeastern Iran. The Iranian government announced that the UAV was brought down by its cyberwarfare unit which commandeered the aircraft and safely landed it, after initial reports from Western news sources inaccurately claimed that it had been shot down.
In recent years, Iran states that it has reached self-sufficiency in essential military hardware and defense systems.
Tehran established an arms development programme during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s to counter the weapons embargo imposed on it by the US and its Western allies.
Since 1992, Iran has manufactured its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles, radars, boats, submarines and fighter planes.
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