Expert: Iran to enhance itself before Israel-U.S. threat, if succeeds building own drone
Azerbaijan, Baku, April 23 / Trend S.Isayev/
If Iran successfully builds a drone of its own, this would significantly enhance its military capability at a time of threat of Israeli and/or US action to take out its nuclear facilities and warnings that Iran would retaliate possibly against targets in Israel and the oil-rich Gulf, Senior fellow at Nanyang Technological University's S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, James M. Dorsey told Trend.
The expert was commenting on the recent news about Iran successfully completing reverse-engineering of the captured US spy drone, and announcing that the country will be building a one of its own.
"Without a doubt, Iran is gleaning insight into the technology and electronics involved in the US drone," Dorsey said.
He added that whether Iran will be able to actually clone the drone given the impact of severe international sanctions that limit its access to technology remains to be seen.
Tehran also said that a number of nations approached Iran over possible sharing of military technology it may have developed through studying the captured drone. China and Russia reportedly showed the most interest.
"Similarly, both Russia and China which is globally on the technology prowl, will be seriously interested in what the Iranians learn," the expert said.
"Iran, in sharing those insights, will seek to earn brownie points with Russia and China and demonstrate its strategic value to them at a time that it is under mounting international pressure to curb its nuclear program".
In December 2011, the Iranian Army's electronic warfare unit downed the US RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft which was flying over the Iranian city of Kashmar, some 140 miles (225km) from the Afghan border.
Two days later, two US officials speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the drone had been part of a CIA reconnaissance mission, involving the US intelligence community stationed in Afghanistan.
The RQ-170 is an unmanned stealth aircraft designed and developed by the Lockheed Martin Company. Iran has announced that it intends to carry out reverse engineering on the aircraft, which is similar in design to a US Air Force B2 stealth bomber.