After Iran shared the intelligence information about the US spy drone that it captured back in December 2011 with it’s friends Russia and China. It is now time for Iran to build it’s own spy drone. Thanks to the US!
Even through it is widely believed that the US spy drone was shot down by Iran, the drone appears to be in perfect shape with no physical damage visible. This has also raised the doubts if the spy drone was indeed shot down or was it hacked by Iran elite intelligence agency and was landed safely.
But both countries didn’t really comment on the possibility. While U.S initially told the spy drone was monitoring Afghan-Iran border, later confessed that it was indeed spying on Iran. U.S has simply put that it lost contact with the spy drone and it seems to have safely landed in Iran after that. The Iran on other hand still maintains that it shot it down.
U.S’s request to return the spy drone have been rejected by Iran.
This type of spy drone helped U.S spy on Osama’s compound for years.
This type of drone has been used in Afghanistan for years and was used to keep watch on bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan but U.S. officials have said little about the history of the particular drone now in Iran’s possession. Iran has also been known to exaggerate its military or technological prowess.
Tehran says it brought down the RQ-170 Sentinel, a top-secret surveillance drone with stealth technology, and has flaunted the capture as a victory for Iran and a defeat for the United States. The U.S. says the drone malfunctioned and downplayed any suggestion that Iran could mine the aircraft for sensitive information because of measures taken to limit the intelligence value of drones operating over hostile territory.
The chief of the aerospace division of the powerful Revolutionary Guards, Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, told state television that the captured surveillance drone is a “national asset” for Iran and that he could not reveal full technical details.
But he did provide some samples of the data that he claimed Iranian experts had recovered from the aircraft, state television reported.
“There is almost no part hidden to us in this aircraft. We recovered part of the data that had been erased. There were many codes and characters. But we deciphered them by the grace of God,” Hajizadeh said.
Among the drone’s past missions, he said, was surveillance of the compound in northwest Pakistan in which bin Laden lived and was killed. Hajizadeh claimed the drone flew over bin Laden’s compound two weeks before the al-Qaida leader was killed there in May 2011 by U.S. Navy SEALs.
He also listed a litany of tests and maintenance that the drone had undergone, all of which he said had been recorded in the aircraft’s memory. According to Hajizadeh, the drone was taken to California on Oct. 16, 2010 for “technical work” and then to Kandahar, Afghanistan on Nov. 18, 2010. He said it carried out flights from Afghanistan but ran into some problems that U.S. experts were unable to fix. Then the drone was taken to Los Angeles in December 2010 where the aircraft’s sensors underwent testing, Hajizadeh said.
“If we had not achieved access to software and hardware of this aircraft, we would be unable to get these details. Our experts are fully dominant over sections and programs of this plane,” he said.
Hajizadeh said he provided the details to prove to the Americans “how far we’ve penetrated into this aircraft.”
The U.S. Defense Department said it does not discuss intelligence matters and would not comment on the Iranian claims.
How much data there is on the drone is another question. Some surveillance technologies allow video to stream through to operators on the ground but do not store much collected data. If they do, it is encrypted.
Looks like Iran is really raising as a technology super-power as well.