July 4, 2012

A senior commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says Iran has gained enough information from the US drone it captured last year to duplicate the aircraft.

“The American RQ-170 drone will be undoubtedly duplicated,” Commander of the IRGC’s Aerospace Division Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh noted on Tuesday.

Rejecting foreign media reports about Iran’s inability to decode drone’s information, the IRGC commander said the Islamic Republic has already proven its prowess by sending codes which made the drone land on the Iranian soil.

“The important point is that hundreds of technologies had been applied in this drone every one of which is important in operational, information, and technological terms and we have obtained information that the enemies did not want us to have,” he added.

In response to the question whether Iran will sell the drone’s information or its technologies to countries like Russia, Hajizadeh stated that any decision in this regard would be taken at higher levels of the Iranian government.

On July 1, Iran’s Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said the country has obtained new technical information regarding the downed US RQ-170 Sentinel reconnaissance drone.

“Acquiring the details and technical specifications of the RQ-170 is taking its normal course, and new achievements have been made in this respect; however, we do not intend to publicize them,” he added.

The US RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft was downed, with minimal damage, by the Iranian Army’s electronic warfare unit on Sunday December 4 when flying over the Iranian city of Kashmar, some 140 miles (225km) from the Afghan border.

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.

The RQ-170 is an unmanned stealth aircraft designed and developed by the Lockheed Martin Company.

The drone is one of America’s most advanced spy aircraft. Its loss is considered a major embarrassment for Washington.

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