Iran captured a CIA Sentinal surveillance drone in December 2011. The Iranian government reported it commandeered the aircraft in Iranian airspace using its cyber warfare unit. Engineers said they jammed the drone’s communications, and then reconfigured the landing coordinates to touch down near Kashmar in northeastern Iran. They immediately began to reverse engineer the stealth drone and extract its data and technology. You can read a commentary on the Sentinel drone capture at Rolling Stone.
The RQ-170 Sentinal is a beautiful UAV developed by Lockheed Martin that uses a flying wing design and a single engine. It reportedly weighs more than 8,000 pounds and has a wingspan of about 66 feet. The medium gray color suggests that it is designed to fly at around 50,000 feet.
Now a copy of the Sentinal drone has taken its first flight, reported by Iran state news agency IRNA. With the information they have gathered from multiple downed drones, Iran can now launch its own UAV production. You can read more at the NY Post.
Update: Flight footage of Iranian version of US RQ-170 Sentinel Stealth Drone:
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