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IRGC Commander: Local version of RQ-170 to fly soon

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Mashhad, Razavi Khorassan Prov., Oct 9, IRNA -- Commander of IRGC Aerospace Unit Brigadier-General Amirali Hajizadeh said on Wednesday that the local version of the US drone RQ-170 captured by IRGC will make its maiden flight in the near future.

Hajizadeh told the one-day Seminar of "War Yesterday; War Today; The Untold About RQ-170" that widescale research carried on the sophisticated drone since two years ago when it was intercepted and downed by the IRGC east of the country.

He noted that the drone is an instance of the US latest technology applied for manufacture of unmanned planes, having vast capability.

He added that despite having stealth radar techniques, the drone was ordered landing undamaged on an order by the IRGC and "we have thus far gained good information about the drone technology."

The drone is covered by tens of research projects and many related experts are working on the projects.

The R-Q 170 engines are the fifth generation and the engines of Iranian unmanned planes are the third generation, said the commander, adding that to produce the engine we had to spend 35 years on the project.

On 4 December 2011, an American Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel unmanned aerial vehicle was captured by Iranian forces near the city of Kashmar in northeastern Iran.

The drone was brought down by the IRGC electronic warfare unit which commandeered the aircraft and safely landed it.

Earlier Iran announced it had completed decoding the surveillance data and software extracted from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) drone.

After capturing the aircraft, Iran announced that it intends to carry out reverse engineering on the captured RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft, which is similar in design to a US Air Force B-2 stealth bomber.

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