Iran unveils new domestic version of US RQ-170 drone
Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 1
By Fatih Karimov – Trend:
Iran’s IRGC has unveiled a new domestic version of the US RQ-170 drone, Tasnim news agency reported Oct. 1.
The long-range combat drone dubbed Saeqeh (thunderbolt) is capable of carrying four smart bombs.
Saeqeh enjoys high level of precision-striking power.
Iran unveiled the first domestic version of the sophisticated drone in May 2014. The US RQ-170 was reverse-engineered by IRGC experts.
The RQ-170 is an unmanned stealth aircraft designed and developed by the Lockheed Martin Company.
The aircraft was downed with minimal damage by the Iranian Army's electronic warfare unit on December 4, 2011, while flying over the Iranian city of Kashmar, some 225 kilometers from the Afghan border, Iranian media outlets claimed.
Although US officials never confirmed it, Iran says it used its radio electronic warfare skills and vulnerabilities in the Sentinel's GPS receiver to trick it into landing on Iranian territory instead of its designated military base. The claims are considered plausible by many, since the drone did not sustain any visible damage during its alleged crash-landing.
Iranian media outlets report that Iran has made great achievements in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing essential military equipment and systems in recent years. Tehran established an arms development program 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. Iran also unveiled its first domestically-manufactured long-range Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in 2010.