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Iranian Drone Copy of US Drone Downed in 2011 Tested in Air

Tuesday, 11 Nov 2014 06:15 AM

A copy of a U.S. drone that went down in Iran in 2011 has successfully completed its first test flight, Tehran said on Monday while promising to release footage of the experiment.

Tehran captured the US RQ-170 Sentinel in December 2011 while it was in its airspace, apparently on a mission to spy on the country's nuclear sites, AFP reported media in the United States as saying.

Iran said it had taken control of the ultra hi-tech drone and forced it down in the desert where it was recovered nearly intact.

Washington says the drone crashed after experiencing a technical glitch.

In May, a military official said Iranian engineers had successfully built a replica of the American drone and that it would soon take a test flight.

Images broadcast by state television at the time appeared to show two near-identical drones.

"As promised, we have conducted the flight and a film of it will be broadcast shortly," General Amir-Ali Hadjizadeh, commander of the Revolutionary Guards air wing, was quoted as saying by the corps' own website.

Apart from a fast-moving ballistic weapons programm, Iran has been producing drones since 2010 which the defense ministry says are capable of firing missiles with a range of more than 600 miles.

Tehran says its weapons programms are purely for defensive purposes, but the United States whose Fifth Fleet is based in Bahrain across the Gulf has often voiced concerns.

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A copy of a U.S. drone that went down in Iran in 2011 has successfully completed its first test flight, Tehran said on Monday while promising to release footage of the experiment.
iranian, drone, copy, tested
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2014-15-11
Tuesday, 11 Nov 2014 06:15 AM
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