Iran has flown a copy of a US reconnaissance drone it captured in 2011, Reuters said, citing a report by state news agency IRNA.
“We promised that a model of RQ-170 would fly in the second half of the year, and this has happened,” Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh told IRNA. “A film of the flight will be released soon.”
In December 2011, Iran said it had captured an RQ-170 Sentinel reconnaissance drone in eastern Iran that had been reported lost by US forces in neighboring Afghanistan.
Following reports of the drone’s capture, Iranian commanders said they had extracted valuable technology from the aircraft and were in the process of reverse-engineering it for their own defense industry.
In a video posted by the semi-official Tasnim News Agency, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei voiced satisfaction at the news after seeing a replica of the drone, saying: “Today is a very sweet and unforgettable day for me.”
In May, Iran unveiled a copy of the RQ-170 drone, an aircraft manufactured by US defense technology company Lockheed Martin.
The United States has said the security system meant Iran was unlikely to get valuable information from the drone.
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