Aerospace Chief Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh with to one of those

under his command, near a captured U.S. RQ-170 Sentinel drone operated

by the CIA, Dec. 2011.



Iran Takes '35-Year Leap' By Reverse Engineering U.S. Drone (FARS News Agency, Iran)


It appears that the long saga of the advanced U.S. RQ-170 drone, downed by Iranian forced in December 2011, is about to reach a climax. According to this news item from Iran's state-run FARS News Agency, the Islamic Republic has made 35 years of progress by reverse engineering the aircraft, and Iran's version is about to take its maiden flight.


October 10, 2013


Islamic Republic of Iran - FARS News Agency – Original Article (English)

One of America's most prized pieces of high-technology on display in Iran: How serious is the loss of a CIA RQ-170 unmanned drone? According to American and Israeli sources - extremely serious, particularly if the unit failed to erase its programming and the data it had collected, as Tehran asserts.


BBC NEWS VIDEO: President Obama rejects claims that a U.S. drone has been captured by Iran, Dec. 4, 2012, 00:01:31RealVideo

TEHRAN: Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, has said that Iran moved as much as 35 years ahead in building drone engines by reverse-engineering a U.S. Sentinal RQ-170 drone, which was tracked and hunted down in Iran late in 2011.


Hajizadeh said on Wednesday that the engines of the RQ-170 are fifth generation, whereas the engines of Iran's previous unmanned aircraft are third generation, adding that to produce those, it took 35 years. Echoing the words of Brigadier General Hossein Salami of the IRGC Aerospace Force, Hajizadeh said on Wednesday that Iran's version of the RQ-170 will soon make its maiden flight.


Brigadier General Salami said in September, "The memory and systems of this aircraft have been decoded, and we'll soon have some good news, not just about the RQ-170 and the progress our forces have made reverse-engineering this drone, but in other important areas of defense achievement."


On December 4, 2011, Iranian defense forces announced that through a sophisticated cyber attack, an U.S. RQ-170 aircraft had been downed. It was the first such loss by the United States. U.S. officials have described the loss as a major setback and fatal blow to its stealth drone program.


The RQ-170 has special coatings and a batwing design that helps it penetrate the air defenses of other nations undetected. The existence of the Lockheed Martin-produced aircraft by has been known since 2009, when a model was photographed at the main U.S. airfield in Kandahar, Afghanistan.


The RQ-170 lost by the United States over Iran was a stealth aircraft used for secret missions by the CIA, U.S. officials admitted almost a week after Iran captured the plane. It is among the most sensitive surveillance platforms in the CIA fleet.


Since December, 2011, Iran has hunted down several other U.S. drones of various designs.


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In January, Rear Admiral Amir Rastegari, Navy deputy commander for coordination, announced that the Army had brought down two more advanced RQ-type Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).


"Of the two 11th series, RQ class drones, one was brough down between August  21 and September 19, 2011, and the other between October 22 - November 20, 2012," Rastegari said, adding that the Army research center was studying craft.


"Much of the data on board these drones has been decoded by the Army's Jihad and Research Center," he said, without providing further details.


Rastegari's remarks came almost a month after Iran announced on December 4, 2012, that the Navy had hunted another U.S. UAV over the Persian Gulf, when the drone violated Iranian airspace.


Rear Admiral Rastegari announced at the time that the craft was a ScanEagle drone, adding that "such drones are usually launched from large warships." ScanEagle is a small, low-cost, long-range unmanned aerial vehicle built by Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing.


Through reverse engineering, Iran later produced its own ScanEagle model.


Then, in April this year, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, Chairman of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, announced that Iran had reverse-engineered the RQ-170, adding that Iran's version would soon have a test flight.

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"Brave armed forces personnel have hunted down the drone. The Americans immediately protested and called for its return," Boroujerdi said.



Boroujerdi didn't refer to any particular model UAV, but explained, "The reverse engineering began immediately, and Iran's version will soon display the Islamic Republic's might and power."


We now know that Boroujerdi was referring to the RQ-170.


Thanks to all this, Iran 's aerospace industry has made giant leaps, particularly in designing and manufacturing pilotless drones.


In April, on the occasion of the National Army Day, the Air Defense Force displayed its Sarir (Throne) drones.


Speaking to reporters at the time, the commander of the Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base, Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli, stated that the Sarir is a long-range, long-endurance radar-evading air defense drone.


"Sarir is capable of carrying cameras and air-to-air missiles. At this point, dozens have been produced and flown," he said.


Also earlier this month, Iran displayed the most advanced UAV ever designed and built by Iranian engineers.


Held on the sidelines of a conference to commemorate the Defense Ministry's martyrs, the stealth drone named Hemaseh (Epic) was unveiled at a special ceremony in the presence of the former defense minister, Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi.


Speaking to reporters, Vahidi said that the drone had been built by defense industry experts and is capable of conducting surveillance and reconnaissance as well as combat missions.


Earlier, Mohammad Eslami, deputy defense minister for industrial and research affairs, told reporters that Hemaseh enjoys capabilities superior to any previously built UAVs, can fly at higher altitudes, and enjoys longer flight endurance.



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Posted By Worldmeets.US Oct. 10, 2013, 03:49pm